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Mistrovství evropy

10. 11. 2007

Euro 1996 was Germany's return to superpower status. Historically, England 1996 also gave us a preview of rising football nations like the Czech Republic, Croatia and France.

First Round

Group A
8.6.1996 EnglandSwitzerland1 - 1
10.6.1996 HollandScotland0 - 0
13.6.1996 HollandSwitzerland2 - 0
15.6.1996 EnglandScotland2 - 0
26.6.1996 ScotlandSwitzerland1 - 0
HollandEngland1 - 4
TeamGWTLGDP
England 32107-27
Holland 31113-44
Scotland 31111-24
Switzerland 30121-41

Group A of the 1996 European Championship started off with some controversy. Shrearer scored England's first goal from an obvious offside. Switzerland came back in the 83rd minute from a penalty. In the following match from this group, Scotland earned a draw after one of their defenders cleared the ball from the goalline with his hand. England's second match (against Scotland) featured one of the most beautiful goals ever. Paul Gascoine dazzled audiences world-wide with a spectacularly setup volley.

Group B
9.6.1996 SpainBulgaria1 - 1
10.6.1996 RomaniaFrance0 - 1
13.6.1996 BulgariaRomania1 - 0
15.6.1996 FranceSpain1 - 1
18.6.1996 FranceBulgaria3 - 1
SpainRomania2 - 1
TeamGWTLGDP
France 32105-27
Spain 31204-35
Bulgaria 31113-44
Romania 30031-30

This was considered as one of the strongest groups in the Euro. Future world champion France managed to finish on top. Bulgaria failed to reproduce their success from World Cup 1994. In their last match, they lost to France with 3-1 giving up silly goals. Romania, who also did well in USA '94, started off with two losses solidifying an early return home.

Group C
9.6.1996 GermanyCzech Republic2 - 0
11.6.1996 ItalyRussia2 - 1
14.6.1996 Czech RepublicItaly2 - 1
16.6.1996 RussiaGermany0 - 3
19.6.1996 Czech RepublicRussia3 - 3
ItalyGermany0 - 0
TeamGWTLGDP
Germany 32105-07
Czech Republic 31115-64
Italy 31113-34
Russia 30124-81

The biggest shocker in the first stage came from Group C. While Germany were ramming over their opponents Russia, the Czech Republic pulled a 2-1 upset over Italy. Because of that result, Italy's final match, became volatile for their advance. In a dramatic battle, Germany displayed unwavering character, holding off a scoreless draw with only 10 men on the pitch. Reminiscently of USA 94, Italy missed a penalty in the 23rd minute of the match.

Group D
9.6.1996 DenmarkPortugal1 - 1
11.6.1996 TurkeyCroatia0 - 1
14.6.1996 PortugalTurkey1 - 0
16.6.1996 CroatiaDenmark3 - 0
19.6.1996 CroatiaPortugal0 - 3
TurkeyDenmark0 - 3
TeamGWTLGDP
Portugal 32105-17
Croatia 32014-36
Denmark 31114-44
Turkey 30030-50

The last group of Euro 1996, featured three unproven teams and the returning champion, Denmark. The Danes became the first notable victim for upcoming powerhouse Croatia. Portugal displayed a very entertaining style at the Euro, which was surprisingly effective as well (at least in the Group stage.)

Quarter-finals

22.6.1996 EnglandSpain0 - 0 (4-2)
FranceHolland0 - 0 (5-4)
23.6.1996 GermanyCroatia2 - 1
Czech RepublicPortugal1 - 0

The Euro 1996 quarter-finals provided few thrills. England and Spain as well as France and Holland finished in scoreless draws. They all played cautious football with as few risks as possible. Croatia, a team built from former Yugoslavian players were defeated 2-1 by Germany with the help of some questionable refereeing. Few could expect that Croatia would have its revenge just a couple of years later. In probably the most interesting quarter-final match, the Czech Republic defeated Portugal 1-0 with a brilliant goal from Poborsky.

Semi-finals

26.6.1996 FranceCzech Republic0 - 0 (5-6)
GermanyEngland1 - 1 (6-5)

The semis at the tournament were decided by penalties. The Czech Republic came on top in their encounter, even although they showed little during the match itself. England and Germany fought a good battle but also finished in a draw. In the penalty shootout, Germany were the lucky side that managed to prevail and advance one step further.

Final

Time30.6.1996
VenueWembley, London
Attendance76,700
RefereePierluigi Pairetto (Italy)

Germany2
Koepke
Strunz
Babbel
Sammer
Helmer
Ziege
Scholl69' Out
Haessler
Eilts46' Out
Kuntz
Klinsmann

Bierhoff69' In
Bode46' In
Czech Republic1
Kouba
Rada
Kadlec
Suchoparek
Hornak
Bejbl
Berger
Poborsky87' Out
Nedved
Nemec
Kuka

Smicer87' In

Oliver Bierhoff scores the first Golden goal in football history.

At the group stage, Germany and the Czech Republic met in a one-sided match. The tournament final was far more different. The Czechs played offensively and seriously bothered the Germans who were very reserved. After 90 minutes, the teams entered overtime with a 1-1 draw. Not long in the first overtime period, German substitute Oliver Bierhoff, author of Germany's first goal netted another from an obvious offside position. Italian referee Pairetto consulted his linesman and decided to approve the goal, literally handing the trophy to Germany. Ironically, this was the first tournament where the "Golden Goal" rule was implemented.

Euro 1996 Pictures
Holland's Seedorf has just missed the decisive penalty at the quarter-finals against France.