Mainoo makes history as England reach final

Kobbie Mainoo

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Today is Wednesday, July 10, 2024, and the time is 10:37 PM.

The Manchester United players representing England - Kobbie Mainoo, Luke Shaw, and backup goalie Tom Heaton - had an amazing evening in Dortmund as the Three Lions pulled off a thrilling 2-1 victory against the Netherlands in the Euro 2024 semi-final.

Mainoo achieved a new milestone in his growing career by becoming the youngest player to start a semi-final in a European Championship or World Cup for England. He accomplished this at the age of only 19 years and 82 days.

Shaw didn't make it into the starting lineup, even though he showed he was healthy when he played as a sub in the quarter-final win against Switzerland. But he didn't have to wait long to get on the field. At the beginning of the second half, he came in as a left-back to replace the right-footed Trippier.

As the game was nearing its end and it looked like England would have to play more time, Ollie Watkins, a substitute from Aston Villa, made a skilful move inside the penalty area. He shot a fantastic goal past goalkeeper Bart Verbruggen to clinch a close match. Mainoo played a key role by pressuring the Dutch midfield before Cole Palmer provided the crucial assist.

This is the sensation of victory in a semi-final match!

In the beginning of the second half, Bukayo Saka thought he scored a goal but it was not counted because his teammate Kyle Walker was offside when he passed the ball into the box. However, the Netherlands team seemed to play better in the second half, especially after Wout Weghorst, a former striker for the Reds, joined the game after the break.

Harry Kane scored a penalty to equalize after Xavi Simons' excellent goal in the first half. Mainoo was a standout player on the field, showcasing his skills as an Academy graduate.

In an interview with BBC Five Live after the match, Kobbie expressed his excitement, saying, "Words can't describe how happy we are. The team is ecstatic. The road to get to this point has been a long one. I believe we have improved with each game and now we have the opportunity to make history."

"We were dominating the game in the midfield. As the second half progressed, we had to work hard to secure the win. It was a challenging match, but the entire team contributed, especially with the great performances of Cole and Ollie coming off the bench. What an exciting ending to the game!"

"My trip to England happened faster than I expected. I have been focusing on each day and each match as they come. And now, we have reached the final of the European Championship."

Mainoo and Phil Foden from Manchester City were playing like they were back in the parks of Stockport where they first started, effortlessly passing the ball and creating opportunities against the Netherlands with their Manchester-born teamwork.

Simon's powerful goal from far away gave an impressive beginning to the second semi-final in Dortmund. It punished Declan Rice for losing the ball with a strong shot that went past Jordan Pickford in the seventh minute.

England started playing better and Kane had a good shot saved by Bart Verbruggen. Then, on his next attempt, he scored the equalizer. When Kane's volley was blocked by Dutch defender Denzel Dumfries, the referee didn't see it as a foul at first. But after checking the VAR, he changed his mind and awarded a penalty. Kane scored from the spot to make it 1-1 in the 18th minute.

Dumfries played a big role in the first half of the game. He made a crucial goal-line clearance after a great pass from Mainoo to Foden. Dumfries also came close to scoring with a header that hit the crossbar. Foden and Mainoo had chances as well, with Foden hitting the post and Mainoo having a shot blocked by Ake after a skillful run past Gakpo.

Even though Shaw started off strong, the Netherlands took control of possession in the second half.

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Weghorst, along with van Dijk and de Vrij, were actively involved in attacking Veerman's free-kicks, putting pressure on England's defense. However, they struggled to create scoring opportunities until Saka's goal was called offside.

At the conclusion, Watkins created a special moment and the Three Lions team and coaches celebrated on the Dortmund field. After the excitement died down and the game continued for the last few minutes of injury time, Mainoo was substituted for Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher as England secured a well-deserved 2-1 victory.

Well done to Kobbie, Luke, and Tom! England has made it to their first final in a tournament played abroad. They will be facing Spain in Berlin on Sunday at 20:00 BST. Good luck to the team!

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Today is Wednesday, July 10, 2024, and it is currently 10:37 PM.

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