Belgium reached the 1980 UEFA European Football Championship final – their first ever major showpiece – thanks to a perfectly-executed goalless draw against Italy.
Knowing a point would be enough to put them through, Belgium coach Guy Thys left out Erwin Vandenbergh and packed his midfield. Every bit the collective unit they had been throughout the tournament, Thys' side once more showed admirable resolve to keep out an Italian attack which needed to score but rarely looked like doing so.
Belgium, for their part, made chances of their own on the break, Dino Zoff diving to save from Michel Renquin, Raymond Mommens and René Vandereycken. For the Azzurri, Francesco Graziani and Roberto Bettega combined to play in Franco Causio, but Jean-Marie Pfaff came out to make the block.
The Belgians, who kept their nerve in the lion's den of the Stadio Olimpico, were worthy finalists. For the hosts, home advantage had not proved as beneficial as hoped. As one headline put it, 'Italy out – and so are the knives'. Coach Enzo Bearzot, however, had broad shoulders and, luckily for Italy, he was still in charge for the next FIFA World Cup.
©UEFA.com 1998-2011. All rights reserved.