Having been world champions at U-20 level in 1989 and 1991, Portugal were hopeful that they could finally go one better than their final defeats in the 1988 and 1990 UEFA European Under-18 Championship. Again they fell at the last hurdle, as Turkey claimed victory in their first UEFA final at any level.
Again the finals were an eight-team knockout affair. Both of the 1990 finalists, holders the Soviet Union and Portugal, qualified but Spain, bronze medallists in the previous tournament, were knocked out by Germany. Turkey qualified for the first time since 1983 thanks to a final-game draw in Israel.
Germany were picked as hosts in their first U18 Championship as a unified nation, their former West and East sections having each won the tournament. On the three previous times that the finals had been a knockout event the hosts had fallen at the first, and Germany continued that trend with a 4-0 loss to Portugal.
In the other quarter-finals, Turkey cruised past Hungary 3-0, England turned on the style against Poland with a 6-1 win having trailed 1-0 for much of the first half, and Norway played out a thriller against the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). Having lost at the same stage to the Soviet Union in 1988 in their only previous qualification, Norway trailed three times in Hassfurt, but in the final two minutes of normal time Tarje Nordstrand Jacobsen and Rune Nordengen made it 4-4 and Norway then prevailed 3-1 on penalties.
For the four losers two 1993 FIFA U-20 World Cup berths were still available, Germany beating Poland 3-2 while the CIS defeated Hungary 3-1. Turkey came from behind to beat Norway 2-1 thanks to goals from Hayati Köse and Mustafa Kocabey. England and Portugal finished 1-1, Kenedy cancelling out Jamie Pollock's opener, before goalkeeper Costinha struck the first spot-kick for Portugal in what was to prove a marathon shoot-out. The teams could not be split as all eleven players on each side had an attempt and when Costinha stepped up again the score was 9-9, Portugal only going through when Pedro Henrique made it 12-11.
England suffered more penalty misery in the third-place match against Norway, losing another lengthy shoot-out won 8-7, although they did go on to finish third in the subsequent World Cup in Australia. In the U18 final in Bayreuth, Bülent Yilmaz's 18th-minute goal was cancelled out before half-time by Vitor Cardoso, but Turkey were to prevail 2-1 in extra time thanks, again, to Kocabey on 98 minutes.
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