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England feel home comforts

In 1992/93 there was a new format for qualifying and the finals, and a new name on the trophy - England, the first victorious hosts since 1981.
England feel home comforts
Darren Caskey celebrates after scoring the winning goal in the final for England ©Bob Thomas/Getty Images

England feel home comforts

In 1992/93 there was a new format for qualifying and the finals, and a new name on the trophy - England, the first victorious hosts since 1981.

The 1992/93 UEFA European Under-18 Championship was a different animal to its predecessors. Instead of the biennial eight-team knockout format of the previous four tournaments, it returned to an annual event with groups in the finals, but with eight rather than 16 finalists. For the first time since the inaugural 1981 competition, the hosts – England – lifted the trophy.

There were qualifying innovations too. The hosts were picked in advance and excused the preliminaries, while the qualification tournament now had two stages with 14 group winners going on to play-off over two legs for a place in the finals. Holders Turkey, Portugal – runners-up for the last three tournaments – the Netherlands, Hungary, France and Romania won through, as did Spain with a 5-2 victory against Germany.

Group A included both the 1992 finalists, and they each began with a draw: Turkey 1-1 against Hungary, Portugal goalless versus Romania. Two days later they began to show their form, Portugal winning 2-0 against Hungary and Turkey going one goal better in defeating Romania. Turkey needed only a draw to reach the final, and confirmed the form of their previous year's crop by finishing with a 2-0 win against Portugal – the scoring opened by the man that got the winning goal in 1992, Mustafa Kocabey. Hungary defeated Romania 1-0 to finish third.

Hosts England were in Group B and started with a 2-0 win against France. Spain led the Netherlands 2-1 with ten minutes to go, and although Patrick Kluivert equalised, Johannes van der Haar then put through his own goal. Two days later England and Spain set up a final-day showdown with 4-1 wins against the Dutch and France respectively. The Netherlands finished third in the pool after a 1-1 draw with France, their goal from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, but in the meeting for a place in the decider, England defeated Spain 5-1, Robbie Fowler's hat-trick taking his finals tally to five, which remained three more than anyone else when the finals ended.

Spain had the consolation of a 2-1 victory against Portugal in the third-place match, and that was followed at Nottingham's City Ground by the final. The 24,000 crowd was delighted as Darren Caskey struck 13 minutes from time to ensure England finished as champions - their first trophy at this level since the last International Youth Tournament in 1980.

http://www.uefa.com/under19/history/season=1993/index.html#england+feel+home+comforts

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