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EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIPS 2000

Preview

Euro 2000 is the 11th edition of this tournament which began back in 1960. It is the first time it has been co-hosted with "The Low Countries" of Belgium and Holland having the honour. There were four groups of four teams in the first round determined by two years of qualifying groups and play-offs plus the hosts. The tournament is held every four years , two years apart from either World Cup, with this edition occurring between the dates of June 10 and July 2, 2000.With the last tournament being successfully hosted by England, another good tournament was expected in 2000.

History

Germany have won the tournament three times with no other team as of yet managing more than one triumph. The previous results in the final are:

YEAR WINNER LOSER SCORE
1960 Soviet Union Yugoslavia 2-1
1964 Spain Soviet Union 2-1
1968 Italy Yugoslavia 1-1  REPLAY 2-0
1972 West Germany Soviet Union 3-0
1976 Czechoslovakia West Germany 2-2  PENALTIES 5-4
1980 West Germany Belgium 2-1
1984 France Spain 2-0
1988 Holland Soviet Union 2-0
1992 Denmark Germany 2-0
1996 Germany Czech Republic 2-1

Tournament

Group Stage

Group A

Group A was dominated by the stylish Portuguese who won three games out of three including a win against England after being two goals down. They were led by playmakers Luis Figo, Manuel Rui Costa and Sergio Conceicao who scored a hat-trick against Germany. Romania qualified after beating England, helped by Phil Neville give away a penalty in the final minutes with a clumsy tackle in the box. England were unimaginative and could not hold onto possession, losing leads against Romania and Portugal and almost against Germany as well. Their tournament was also blighted by hooligan problems especially before the game against Germany, which England won 1-0, which was their first win over Germany in a competitive match since the 1966 World Cup final. England were threatened by UEFA that if their hooligan problem continued they would be thrown out of the championships. Germany, the defending champions, were very disappointing, with a re-building period now needed as their major players such as Lothar Matthaus are too old to compete with other international powers.

12/6 Germany  1-1 Romania

12/6 Portugal   3-2 England

17/6 England    1-0 Germany

17/6 Portugal    1-0 Romania

20/6 England    2-3 Romania

20/6 Portugal    3-0 Germany

 

Group B

Italy also qualified with a perfect record from Group B. They were lucky with a late Inzaghi penalty and a late Del Piero winner giving them two of their victories. Belgium, one of the hosts, won their first game against Sweden and looked like they might qualify for the quarter-finals until they lost their final game against Turkey. Turkey were making their second appearance at the European Championship after scoring no goals and gaining no points from their group in 1996. They were much improved this tournament, in their first game scoring their first goal in a loss to Italy, in their second game gaining their first point in a boring 0-0 draw against Sweden and in their third game gaining their first win, beating Belgium to qualify for the quarter-finals. Sweden dominated their qualifying group which include the likes of England, Poland and Bulgaria but were disappointing in  the actual tournament gaining only one point.

10/6 Belgium    2-1 Sweden

11/6 Italy         2-1 Turkey

14/6 Italy         2-0 Belgium

15/6 Sweden   0-0 Turkey

19/6 Turkey     2-0 Belgium

19/6 Italy         2-1 Sweden

 

Group C

Group C started off with a shock with Norway beating Spain 1-0 but Spain bounced back  to top the group and win the dubious honour of playing France in the quarter-finals. A draw in the final game against Yugoslavia would not have been enough to qualify and all looked lost with the score being 3-2 to Yugoslavia and the game heading into injury time, but two very late goals ensured their qualification and also topping the group. Yugoslavia still qualified despite this loss to Spain with a large comeback in their first game to secure a 3-3 draw after being 3-0 down against Slovenia. Slovenia were given no hope at the start of the tournament and surprised observers with their performances, particularly that of Zlatko Zahovic. Norway beat Spain, lost to Yugoslavia and needed a win in their final game to secure qualification but could only manage a 0-0 draw against Slovenia which was not enough.

13/6 Yugoslavia  3-3 Slovenia

13/6 Norway      1-0 Spain

18/6 Spain          2-1 Slovenia

18/6 Yugoslavia  1-0 Norway

21/6 Yugoslavia  3-4 Spain

21/6 Slovenia      0-0 Norway

 

Group D

Group D was nicknamed the "Group of Death" before the tournament but ended up being the only group with its two qualifiers determined after two games. Holland started off hesitantly, beating the Czech Republic 1-0 with a late penalty but improved as the group continued beating France 3-2 in the final game to win the group. France were in impressive form and when they beat the Czech Republic in their second game they ensured both their's and Holland's qualification for the next round. They Czech Republic came into the tournament as one of the favourites with a 100% record in the qualifiers, but were knocked out after losing their first two games. It was disappointing but France and Holland were two of the most talented teams in Europe. They concluded their tournament with a win against Denmark. Denmark had the worst record with no points, no goals for and eight against and were extremely disappointing after their triumph in the tournament in 1992. They completed the trio of Scandinavian sides who were all knocked out after the first round.
11/6 France       3-0 Denmark

11/6 Holland      1-0 Czech Republic

16/6 Holland      3-0 Denmark

16/6 France       2-1 Czech Republic

21/6 France       2-3 Holland

21/6 Denmark   0-2 Czech Republic 

 

Quarter Finals                                    

Portugal continued their 100% record with two goals from Nuno Gomes giving them a 2-0 win over Turkey, both of them set up by Luis Figo who capitalised on the extra space provided by the missing man, Alpay Ozalan who was sent off. Italy also continued their good form with a 2-0 win over Romania. In probably his last game for Romania Gheorghe Hagi was sent off after receiving a second yellow card for diving. Holland were the most impressive side in the quarter-finals with a 6-1 thumping of Yugoslavia. Four of these Dutch goals were originally credited to Patrick Kluivert, but later one was switched to an own goal. The other two were scored by Marc Overmars and the Yugoslav goal was scored by Savo Milosevic who equalled Patrick Kluivert's record of five goals throughout the tournament. France scraped through against Spain 2-1 with goals from Zidane and Djorkaeff. Spain scored one penalty through Gaizka Mendieta and had another penalty in the last minute. Spanish hopes for a similar comeback as witnessed against Yugoslavia were dashed when Raul missed, hitting the ball over the crossbar.

24/6 Portugal     2-0 Turkey               

24/6 Italy           2-0 Romania

25/6 Holland      6-1 Yugoslavia

25/6 Spain         1-2 France

 

Semi Finals

The first semi-final between France and Portugal ended in controversy. Goals from Thierry Henry and Nuno Gomes cancelled each other out and sent the game into extra time. A Sylvain Wiltord shot hit Abel Xavier's hand and was judged to be handball. Despite vigorous protests by the Portuguese, especially Nuno Gomes, Zidane scored the penalty that settled the match. The second semi-final between Italy and Holland was just as close. Two yellow cards got Gianluca Zambrotta sent off after 33 minutes. Down to ten men, and facing two penalties during the game, Italy's defence held on with Francesco Toldo the star, helped by Alessandro Nest and Fabio Cannavaro. The game stayed 0-0 throughout extra-time and was sent into the first penalty shoot-out in the tournament. Both teams had woeful recent records at penalties with Italy having been knocked out on penalties at World Cups in 1990, 1994 and 1998 and Holland losing on penalties at Euro 96 and World Cup 1998. Italy broke their losing streak with Francesco Toldo saving another three penalties to make five in total missed by Holland during the match including a shot by Jaap Stam that almost went out of the stadium it was so high. The hosts were out, unable to break through Italy's defence.

28/6 France        2-1 Portugal

29/6 Italy            0-0 Holland           3-1 on penalties

 

Final

There was an exciting final to conclude an exciting tournament. With Italy having only let in two goals in the tournament and Marco Delvecchio scoring in the 54th minute it looked like Italy's defence would hold out, giving a win to teamwork and impenetrable defence rather than creativity and flair. But it all changed in the final seconds where from a lucky deflection the ball fell at Sylvain Wiltord's feet and he scored to equalise and send the game into extra-time. Another goal to David Trezeguet in extra-time gave France victory in Euro 2000

2/7   France        2-1 Italy

 

Overall

France have the most talented group of players for many years in any country after winning both the World Cup in 1998 and the European Championships in 2000. Zinedine Zidane is their star player with Thierry Henry greatly improved since the World Cup. Italy were not expected to go far but the defensive strategies devised by Dino Zoff worked with Francesco Toldo, who only become first-choice keeper when Gianluigi Buffon was injured just before the tournament, having a number of great performances. Portugal also showed style with Luis Figo and Manuel Rui Costa, their two playmakers starring. Holland played well at times especially in the quarter-finals but failed to perform at their best in the semi-final. Other traditional powers like England and Germany failed and Spain did not reach their best but at least they made it past the group stage. There was great attacking football throughout the championships with all teams who were successful playing this way apart from Italy. The Eurocard-Mastercard All-Star Team of the Tournament chosen by UEFA's Technical Study Group is shown below along with the top goalscorers.

Eurocard-Mastercard All-Star Team

Goalkeepers: Fabien BARTHEZ (FRA), Francesco TOLDO (ITA)

Defenders: Laurent BLANC (FRA), Frank de BOER (HOL), Fabio CANNAVARO (ITA), Marcel DESAILLY (FRA), Alessandro NESTA (ITA)

Midfielders: Edgar DAVIDS (HOL), Luis FIGO (POR), Josep GUARDIOLA (ESP), Patrick VIEIRA (FRA), Zinedine ZIDANE (FRA)

Forwards: Thierry HENRY (FRA), Patrick KLUIVERT (HOL), NUNO GOMES (POR), RAÚL González (ESP.) 

 

Top Goalscorer

5 - Patrick Kluivert         - Holland

5 - Savo Milosevic          - Yugoslavia

4 - Nuno Gomes             - Portugal

3 - Sergio Conceicao      - Portugal

3 - Thierry Henry            - France

3 - Zlatko Zahovic          - Slovenia

2 - Frank de Boer           - Holland

2 - Youri Djorkaeff         - France

2 - Filippo Inzaghi           - Italy

2 - Gaizka Mendieta        - Spain

2 - Marc Overmars         - Holland

2 - Alfonso Perez Munoz - Spain

2 - Alan Shearer              - England

2 - Vladimir Smicer          - Czech Republic

2 - Hakan Sukur              - Turkey

2 - Francesco  Totti         - Italy

2 - David Trezeguet         - France

2 - Sylvain Wiltord           - France

2 - Boudewijn Zenden      - Holland

2 - Zinedine Zidane           - France  

 

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