A sense of the unknown prevailed as 26,370 spectators came to the Parc des Princes for the opening game of the inaugural UEFA European Championship. However, after 90 absorbing minutes, even the most partisan home fan had to concede the future was bright.
This match was always going to produce goals – France had booked their finals place with a 9-4 aggregate win against Austria; Yugoslavia had defeated Portugal 6-3. Still, there was little inkling of the feast to come as the game drifted towards half-time with the teams locked at 1-1, Yugoslavia's 11th-minute advantage lasting less than 60 seconds before Jean Vincent equalised. Then François Heutte put the hosts in front.
Soon after the restart Les Bleus, shorn of Raymond Kopa and Just Fontaine through injury and temporary retirement, doubled their lead through Maryan Wisnieski, only for Ante Žanetić to reduce the arrears immediately. Back came France, with Heutte's second making it 4-2, yet there was no denying Yugoslavia's flair; three goals in five minutes would turn the match on its head.
With pressure mounting, Tomislav Knež finally punched a hole in the French back line with a quarter-hour remaining. Albert Batteux's men were rocked, and by the time they regained their composure a 4-3 advantage was a 5-4 deficit: two goals in a minute from GNK Dinamo Zagreb striker Dražan Jerković having silenced the Parc des Princes. There was no way back for France in what remains the competition's highest-scoring match.