1976: YUGOSLAVIA 2 WEST GERMANY 4 (after extra-time)

A great example of Germany's well-documented powers of recovery. Trailing 2-0 to the home side in Zagreb, they were in deep trouble and looked as though they were really missing the mercurial Gerd Muller up front.

The hero of the hour proved to be another, less heralded, Muller. Dieter Muller was to have a debut to remember, scoring a late equaliser to force extra-time and going on to score a hat-trick to book his side's place in the final.

1976: WEST GERMANY 2 CZECHOSLOVAKIA 2 (after extra-time, Czechoslovakia win 5-3 on penalties)

Who says Germany never lose penalty shoot-outs? The Czechs battled through to the final in Belgrade but were not given a prayer against the reigning world and European champions, for whom captain Franz Beckenbauer was aiming to go out on a high as an international.

Midway through the second half the underdogs led 2-0 but Germany fought back and levelled in the 89th minute. No further goals in extra-time meant this match was the first major final to be settled on penalties. A miss from Uli Hoeness gave Antonin Panenka the chance to score the winner.

The pressure was on, and he had the fantastic Sepp Maier to beat, but Panenka kept his cool to cheekily chip home the winner. Germany learned well however - no German has missed in a shoot-out at senior international level since Hoeness' failure.

1984: FRANCE 3 PORTUGAL 2 (after extra-time)

One of the classic encounters of European football, and one British fans may remember for John Motson almost bursting a blood vessel in his excitement in the commentary box.

Portugal were surprise semi-finalists and the hosts France, with the magnificent Michel Platini in their side, were expected to push them aside and claim their place in the final and when Jean-Francois Domergue put them ahead it appeared to be plain sailing.

However, an equaliser from Rui Jordao took the match into extra-time and when the same man struck again, Les Bleus were in big trouble of suffering a shock defeat.

But France showed they had steel to go with their obvious style and fought back as Domergue levelled.

One minute remained when the tireless Jean Tigana glided through the Portuguese defence and centred for Platini who fired in the winner to set off the hysterics from Motty.


West Germany had always had the best of it between these two great rivals, even managing to derail the great Dutch team of Johan Cruyff in the 1974 World Cup.

As then, the Germans had home advantage in this semi-final clash and took the lead through a 55th-minute penalty from Lothar Matthaus.

The Oranje equalised through a spot-kick of their own by Ronald Koeman in the 74th minute and with time almost elapsed, Marco van Basten made a smart run into the inside-right channel and slid a low shot past Eike Immel for the winner.


Denmark's players were getting ready to hit the beach for the summer when they got a late call-up to the tournament in Sweden in place of Yugoslavia, with the Balkans conflict still ongoing.

Against all the odds, the Danes reached the final but Germany were expected to prevent a fairytale triumph. The first indication that this was not to be Germany's day came when Flemming Povlsen cut the ball back from the right byline and John Jensen - whose lack of goals became the stuff of legend at Arsenal - blasted the ball past Bodo Illgner in the 18th minute.

The German attack - Jurgen Klinsmann in particular - pounded Denmark's goal but Peter Schmeichel, having the game of his life, kept them at bay time and time again and with 12 minutes to go Kim Vilfort scored the crucial second to make Denmark the surprise champions of Europe.


One of the all-time great England performances. The 2-0 victory over Scotland really set the ball rolling as the nation got behind the team and this win was a case of beating the Dutch at their own game.

Alan Shearer made it 1-0 from the spot after Paul Ince was fouled by Danny Blind and an early second-half header from Teddy Sheringham doubled England's advantage.

The best was yet to come however as Steve McManaman and Paul Gascoigne teased an opening down the left and when the latter passed to Sheringham, Wembley held its breath for the shot.

The Tottenham man though realised he was being closed down and as he shaped to shoot he cleverly rolled a pass to an unmarked Shearer to his right, who fired into the top corner.

Sheringham then latched onto a rebound to make it 4-0, and Patrick Kluivert's late consolation meant little to the fans, who stuck around long after the final whistle singing "Three Lions" at the top of their lungs.

1996: ENGLAND 1 GERMANY 1 (Germany win 6-5 on penalties)

No-one dared say it, but England were in with a brilliant chance of claiming their first major international honour in 30 years.

The fact it was against old adversaries Germany added extra spice to the occasion, and England's fans only had to wait three minutes for a goal from Alan Shearer.

Stefan Kuntz silenced the home crowd in the 16th minute when he swept home Thomas Helmer's cross and no further goals meant extra-time - and the dreaded penalties.

Before the shoot-out both sides had chances to win the game with the golden goal in effect. Darren Anderton hit the post for England, Kuntz had a headed goal disallowed and then Paul Gascoigne was a toe's length away from touching home a cross from the right.

So to penalties, and with the Germans displaying incredible cool despite the pressure of the home crowd, it was poor Gareth Southgate who cracked, firing a weak kick too close to goalkeeper Andreas Kopke.

The defender could not be blamed, and there were more skilful players who had ducked the responsibility of taking a kick. Andy Moller stepped up to drill in the winning penalty and goad the home fans. There was to be no end to the 30 years of hurt.


Both sides were already assured of places in the last eight before this group match, and the lack of pressure allowed the gifted players on show to express their talent.

Christophe Dugarry headed Les Bleus in front in the seventh minute from Johan Micoud's cross before Patrick Kluivert equalised after springing the offside trap.

The world champions restored their lead when David Trezeguet got the final touch in what the Dutch felt was an offside position.

The equaliser was out of the top drawer, Frank de Boer beating Bernard Lama with a terrific swerving free-kick.

Boudewijn Zenden then capitalised on an error by Frank Leboeuf to grab the winner. France went on to win the tournament with a 2-1 extra-time victory over Italy.


Difficult to top for drama, Spain netted two injury-time goals to revive themselves and book a quarter-final place.

Former Aston Villa striker Savo Milosevic started the ball rolling with a 31st-minute effort but Alfonso equalised.

Substitute Dejan Govedarica swept home an early second-half goal after an excellent run from Ljubinko Drulovic but Spain quickly restored parity with a curling shot from Pedro Munitis.

Slavisa Jokanovic was then sent off for a second bookable offence but it was the 10 men who somehow went ahead for a third time when Slobodan Komljenovic scrambled the ball in.

With the 90 minutes up, all looked lost for Jose Camacho's side but French referee Gilles Veissiere whistled for a push on Abelardo and Gaizka Mendieta stroked home a penalty.

Then, in the 95th minute, Alfonso pounced for his second and was duly mobbed by his team-mates. A truly wonderful advert for football.


A match between the two best footballing sides at Euro 2004 produced a classic in which a Czech Republic side at the peak of its powers came back from 2-0 down to win 3-2.

The Dutch took the lead in Aveiro through a Wilfred Bouma diving header from an Arjen Robben free-kick and Robben then set up Ruud van Nistelrooy to tap in a second.

Their lead lasted just four minutes as Milan Baros rounded Jaap Stam and squared for Jan Koller who had the simple task of firing past Edwin van der Sar.

The quality of attacking play from the two sides in the second half was breathtaking and the Czech Republic, arguably the best side in the tournament, equalised through Baros.

The striker, who finished with tournament's golden boot, scored a superb half-volley before his then Liverpool team-mate Vladimir Smicer scored the winner two minutes from time.