New Telegraph

Uninspiring Lions Can Roar Past Netherlands

England’s quest to win Euro 2024 heads to Dortmund on Wednesday night for a semi-final showdown with the Netherlands.

Gareth Southgate’s exploits in Germany have been, in a word, gritty. After edging nervously through the group stage with two draws and a narrow win, the Three Lions required a 95th-minute Jude Bellingham overhead kick to avoid going out against Slovakia before beating Switzerland on penalties in the quarter-finals.

There have been signs of progress and the level of talent on the pitch is obvious but England fans will not fancy another 90 or 120 minutes of tight – rope walking with a place in the final on the line.

It has hardly been plain sailing for the Dutch, either. Having finished third in their group after losing to Austria, they strolled past Romania in the last- 16 but needed to come from behind to get the better of a spirited Turkey team on Saturday night.

Ronald Koeman’s team were not fancied to go all the way before the tournament yet are now in their first Euros semifinal for 20 years, as both they and England benefit from being on the ‘kinder’ side of the draw. The question is, who will take the final step to Berlin?

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