Substitutes who made all the difference

With substitutes having made a significant impact at the tournament, EURO2016.com remembers some great match-winning displays from players who came on.

Substitute Daniel Sturridge is mobbed after scoring England's winner against Wales
Substitute Daniel Sturridge is mobbed after scoring England's winner against Wales ©Getty Images

UEFA EURO 2016 has been a tournament for the substitute, with 11 of the 47 goals scored so far being registered by replacements – hardly surprising given the propensity for late strikes.

The finals in France have already equalled the total of goals scored by players from the bench in 1996, 2000 and 2012 while UEFA EURO 2004 managed only ten strikes from substitutes. The record is 13, from UEFA EURO 2008.

One man to have benefited from the trend is England manager Roy Hodgson, who brought on Jamie Vardy and Daniel Sturridge to turn around the matchday two game against Wales.

"Substitutions are going to play a major part in this tournament," said Hodgson. "The games come thick and fast. Each team has 23 players and there'll always be a lot of players who feel hard done by when not selected.

Watch five dramatic late winners by substitutes
Watch five dramatic late winners by substitutes

"It's going to be a feature of the tournament and watching France play Albania it was a similar situation when [Paul] Pogba and [Antoine] Griezmann came on. They helped France get the victory it looked like they might be denied."

Decisive contributions from substitutes are nothing new, however; EURO2016.com remembers some pivotal moments engineered by men coming off the bench.

Odilon Polleunis: Belgium 1-2 West Germany (14/06/72)
The first EURO goal by a replacement proved in vain as Polleunis – introduced in the 70th minute, 11 minutes after West Germany's Jürgen Grabowski had become the first EURO sub – struck in the 83rd minute of the 1972 semi-final, but only in reply to Gerd Müller's double for West Germany.

Dieter Müller: Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany, aet (17/06/76)
Yugoslavia had one foot in the '76 final when West Germany coach Helmut Schön made one of the most inspired substitutions ever. Trailing 2-1 with 11 minutes left, he replaced Herbert Wimmer with Dieter Müller who, on his debut, had the game of his life. Within three minutes the Köln striker had equalised before scoring twice more in extra time to complete a hat-trick and send West Germany to the showpiece.

EURO 1976 highlights: West Germany 4-2 Yugoslavia
EURO 1976 highlights: West Germany 4-2 Yugoslavia

Wim Kieft: Republic of Ireland 0-1 Netherlands (18/06/88)
The Netherlands' 1988 triumph is best remembered for Marco van Basten's spectacular volley in the final against the Soviet Union – yet had it not been for Kieft's bizarre 82nd-minute goal on matchday three, Rinus Michels's team would not have survived the group stage.

Lars Elstrup: France 1-2 Denmark (17/06/92)
Four years later at EURO '92, the eventual champions again owed their knockout place to a substitution coming up trumps, Elstrup replacing Brian Laudrup on 66 minutes and notching the decisive Danish goal 12 minutes later.

Vladimír Šmicer: Russia 3-3 Czech Republic (19/06/96)
The Czech Republic went all the way to the 1996 final but were heading out until Šmicer's 88th-minute effort earned a matchday three draw with Russia, whose own replacements Aleksandr Mostovoi (49 minutes) and Vladimir Beschastnykh (85) had also netted. Šmicer also came on to hit the winner as the Czechs recovered from 2-0 down to beat the Netherlands in the UEFA EURO 2004 group stage.

Olivier Bierhoff: Czech Republic 1-2 Germany, aet (30/06,96)
Bierhoff became the first substitute to score in a final, emerging from the dugout to fire injury-ravaged Germany to EURO '96 glory as Berti Vogts's side came from behind. Bierhoff was deployed 21 minutes from time with Germany trailing and wasted no time, equalising to force extra time before somehow squeezing in a 95th-minute clincher – senior international football's first golden goal.

Sylvain Wiltord, David Trezeguet: France 2-1 Italy, aet (02/07/00)
Four years later, the 2000 final was again transformed by substitutes – three of them helping France become the first world champions to add the European prize. Marco Delvecchio's second-half strike looked to have given Italy the trophy, until sub Wiltord's last-gasp effort brought on extra time. Here Robert Pirès teed up yet another replacement, Trezeguet, for another golden goal.

Hélder Postiga, Rui Costa: Portugal 2-2 England, aet, 6-5 pens (24/06/04)
Portugal were 1-0 in arrears with seven minutes left in their UEFA EURO 2004 quarter-final when Simão Sabrosa laid on fellow newcomer Postiga to take the game into overtime. Another substitute, Rui Costa, handed Portugal a 110th-minute lead, although the hosts ultimately needed penalties to reach the last four.

EURO 2012 highlights: Spain v Portugal - the full penalty shoot-out
EURO 2012 highlights: Spain v Portugal - the full penalty shoot-out

Semih Şentürk: Switzerland 1-2 Turkey, 11/06/08 and Croatia 1-1 Turkey, aet, 1-3 pens (20/06/08)
Turkey made late comebacks their trademark at UEFA EURO 2008. Semih's fresh legs sparked the matchday two revival against Switzerland in torrential rain and, after an even more dramatic win against the Czechs, struck deep into added time to deny Croatia what appeared a quarter-final victory, Turkey prevailing in the ensuing shoot-out.

Cesc Fàbregas: Spain 0-0 Italy, aet, 4-2 pens (22/06/08)
Spain had lost three previous quarter-final shoot-outs on 22 June, and it took Fàbregas to arise from the dugout and halt that sequence with the decisive penalty against the world champions in the last-eight tie in Vienna. Four years later at UEFA EURO 2012, he did it again in the semi-final with Portugal.

Jesús Navas: Croatia 0-1 Spain (18/06/12)
The winger's 88th-minute goal on matchday three took the holders into the knockout phase of the 2012 finals at their opponents' expense; an unprecedented second successive title would follow for La Roja.

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