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England reach Euro 2024 final after beating the Netherlands 2-1

England’s midfielders were being given too much time on the ball, and Koeman used an injury to Memphis Depay to reinforce the centre, replacing the forward with Joey Veerman.

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Gareth Southgate’s team scored a late goal in the game, allowing them to take the lead after a tough start. England will face Spain in the Euro 2024 final on Sunday, Reuters reported.

Ollie Watkins struck a stunning injury-time winner as England beat the Netherlands 2-1 on Wednesday to set up a Euro 2024 final showdown with Spain in Berlin.

It was an incredible finish to an evening that began badly for England, as Xavi Simons gave the Netherlands an early lead in the semi-final in Dortmund.

However, England were soon level through a Harry Kane penalty following a contentions VAR call by German referee Felix Zwayer, and the match looked set to drift towards extra time until Watkins struck.

On for Harry Kane, Watkins received a pass from fellow substitute Cole Palmer with his back to goal in the first minute of stoppage time, turned and fired low into the far corner to leave the Netherlands completely stunned.

It has rarely been a convincing campaign from Gareth Southgate’s England side, but they are through to their second consecutive European Championship final as they dream of finally winning a first major trophy since 1966, read the report.

To do that they will surely have to perform better than at any point so far in Germany as they face an outstanding Spain team.

Spain will also have had an extra 24 hours to prepare for the final, having defeated France 2-1 on Tuesday.

The Netherlands had been hoping to repeat their triumph at the last Euros held in Germany, in 1988, but their current side lacks anyone with the star quality of Marco van Basten or Ruud Gullit, Reuters reported.

A victory for them would have seen this Euros conclude with the same final as the 2010 World Cup. Instead they now go home.

England had got to this stage despite not winning any of their last four matches in 90 minutes, and having been taken to extra time by Slovakia and Switzerland.

That might have given the Dutch an edge physically, after the Oranje shrugged off finishing third in their group to brush aside Romania and then see off Turkey.

England welcomed back Marc Guehi in defence after suspension, while Netherlands coach Ronald Koeman opted to start Donyell Malen in attack in the ground where he plays club football for Borussia Dortmund.

The Westfalenstadion is a special place for the Dutch, as the scene of their 2-0 win over Brazil that took them through to the 1974 World Cup final.

Contentious penalty

They went ahead here after just seven minutes thanks to a stunning goal by Simons, who robbed Declan Rice 35 metres from goal and advanced before sending a rasping drive beyond Jordan Pickford, read the report.

The Dutch players ran off to celebrate with their fans behind that goal, as England found themselves behind for the third game running.

Just like against the Swiss in the quarter-finals, however, they reacted swiftly.

Kane forced a save from Bart Verbruggen and moments later sent a volley over the bar, and was caught by Denzel Dumfries on the follow-through.

It seemed totally innocuous but Zwayer was summoned across to review the images and gave a penalty.

Kane, whose missed spot-kick against France cost England dear in the 2022 World Cup, made no mistake, slotting low into the bottom-left corner.

It settled into an open and entertaining game, with Dumfries redeeming himself by clearing off the line from Phil Foden.

Dumfries crashed a header off the bar from a Simons corner, but Foden responded by curling a superb shot from range off the top of the post.

England’s midfielders were being given too much time on the ball, and Koeman used an injury to Memphis Depay to reinforce the centre, replacing the forward with Joey Veerman.

Another change followed at the interval, with Wout Weghorst — super-sub in previous rounds — replacing Malen.

Yet the game became more cagey as the minutes went on and the fear of making a mistake grew.

Pickford denied Virgil van Dijk on 65 minutes and the Netherlands began to take control as England’s leading players started to tire.

England did have the ball in the net on 79 minutes when Bukayo Saka turned in a Kyle Walker cutback, but the latter was just offside and the flag cut short the celebrations.

Southgate then decided to remove Kane and Foden, with Watkins and Palmer entering the fray to devastating effect, read the report.

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Pakistan contradicts UNHCR chief’s remarks on Afghan migrants’ return plan

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

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Pakistan has contradicted a claim by UN refugees agency UNHCR that the program to repatriate illegal migrants, specifically Afghans, has been suspended, saying “this is not true”.

This week, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees, Filippo Grandi, said during a visit to Pakistan, that the UNHCR appreciated Islamabad’s move to suspend the repatriation of Afghan refugees.

But, Pakistan’s Foreign Office spokesperson Mumtaz Zahra Baloch has since said: “this is not true. It may be noted that no such understanding has been given by Pakistan to the UNHCR, including in recent meetings with the High Commissioner for Refugees.”

“IFRP (repatriation program) remains in place and is being implemented in an orderly and phased manner”, she said.

Grandi meanwhile said in a statement early this week that the Illegal Foreigners Repatriation Plan had been suspended and sought assurances from Pakistan that it would remain on hold.

Pakistan has been hosting millions of Afghan refugees since the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. The latest influx started in August 2021 when the former government collapsed.

Between 600,000 and 800,000 Afghans sought refuge in Pakistan. But last November, Pakistan launched a widely criticized repatriation programme aimed at returning millions of Afghans, regardless of their legal status, to Afghanistan.

 

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Cherry yields have increased in Takhar province

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

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Farmers in Takhar say the harvest of cherries has increased in this province, but they are worried about the drop in prices and the lack of a market for sales.

Cherry farmers in Takhar said that the price earned from cultivating fruits has dropped, compared to previous years, and asked the government to help with the marketing of crops.

“Fruits are plentiful this year. It is Iranian cherries, it is domestic cherries. Unfortunately, compared to previous years, the price of cherries is very low,” said one Takhar cherry farmer.

“The price this year is very different from last year; last year the prices were very high, this year it is low,” said another farmer.

Fresh fruit sellers also said that Takhar’s fruit was exported to neighboring and central provinces in the past years, but this year they do not have customers outside their own province – which is a cause for concern among them.

Meanwhile, officials from Takhar’s Department of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock said that the prices have decreased due to the increase in yield.

“In the previous years, due to the drought, the prices of fruits and vegetables increased,” said Abdulalla Radmard, director for promotions at the Directorate of Agriculture, Irrigation and Livestock of Takhar.

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Pakistan to offer 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

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Pakistan has announced it will provide 4,500 scholarships to Afghan students, as part of the Allama Iqbal Scholarship for Afghan Students program.

Asid Durrani, Pakistan’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a post on X that this is phase 3 of the program and that scholarships will be granted to Afghan students in natural sciences and social sciences across various universities in Pakistan.

However, Durani did not provide details regarding costs nor whether this would include female students.

Pakistan’s Ministry of Education stated in the past it had awarded scholarships to 6,000 Afghan students as part of phase one and two.

Following the suspension of education for girls in Afghanistan, several countries, including Germany, Japan, Iran, and Tajikistan, have also offered scholarships to Afghan girls.

 

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