Poland had suffered defeats in finals of the International Youth Tournament and UEFA European Under-18 Championship before they broke their duck by taking the U16 title in 1993.
Holders Germany saw their reign ended in qualifying with a 3-2 aggregate defeat by Spain - who as defending champions had lost in the previous final. The 16 qualifiers then gathered in Turkey, with a change to the format - the top two now progressing from each group to a new quarter-final round.
In Group A that extra place proved valuable for Switzerland. They started by drawing 1-1 with Poland while Iceland beat Northern Ireland 6-2, a game that was 2-2 at the break. However, Iceland then lost 2-0 to Poland while Northern Ireland held Switzerland 1-1. With Poland defeating Northern Ireland 1-0 to win the group, that meant the Swiss needed to defeat Iceland, and did so with a 36th-minute Johann Vogel goal.
Hosts Turkey lost their Group B opener 1-0 to Spain while neighbouring Greece fell 2-0 to Hungary. Spain then scored the only goal against Greece, as did Turkey versus Hungary. The Hungarians overcame Spain 2-1 on the final day, and they went through in that order after Turkey and Greece drew 2-2.
England trailed for a matter of seconds in their first Group C game before responding to draw 1-1 against Belgium, allowing Czechoslovakia to go top as they beat the Republic of Ireland 2-1. There were no goals between the Czechoslovakians and Belgium, but England defeated Ireland 1-0. However, a 2-0 loss by England against Czechoslovakia - who won the group - ensured Belgium's 2-1 win against Ireland took them through.
Italy progressed in Group D with a game to spare thanks to 2-1 wins against Portugal and Russia. France then held them 1-1 to go through in second place, having beaten Portugal 3-1 and finished a goal apiece against Russia, who were also held 1-1 by Portugal.
Two quarter-finals finished 3-0 - Czechoslovakia and France brushing aside Switzerland and Hungary respectively - while after goalless draws Poland and Italy ended Belgium and Spain's challenge on penalties. In the last four Poland defeated France 2-1 in extra time thanks to Artur Andruszczak's winner, but Italy again needed spot-kicks to progress, beating Czechoslovakia 5-4 after a 0-0 draw.
Czechoslovakia gained third place as they game from behind to beat France 2-1 with Miroslav Vápeník's injury-time goal, and the title was Poland's against Italy courtesy of a first-half Marcin Szulik strike. In the subsequent FIFA U-17 World Championship in Japan, Italy fell in the group stage, Czechoslovakia in the quarter-finals and Poland reached the last four, losing to Nigeria.
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