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Highest-scoring days in EURO history

The two highest-scoring days in the history of the finals have come at UEFA EURO 2020.

Spain beat Slovakia on Wednesday to progress – but their final group matches have often been more dramatic
Spain beat Slovakia on Wednesday to progress – but their final group matches have often been more dramatic POOL/AFP via Getty Images

For the second time in under a week, a single day of EURO action has produced a deluge of goals, record-breaking feats and more drama than anyone could have imagined.

Firstly, the Group E and F deciders set a landmark with the 18 goals scored across four matches making it the most prolific day in EURO finals history; just five days later, the knockout record was smashed too.

UEFA.com looks back over the six matchdays when the nets were put to most use.

23 June 2021: 18 goals (four games)

Group E: Slovakia 0-5 Spain, Sweden 3-2 Poland
Group F: Germany 2-2 Hungary, Portugal 2-2 France

Watch Forsberg's double against Poland
Watch Forsberg's double against Poland

There was an inkling of what was to come when Sweden's Emil Forsberg kicked off proceedings with the second-fastest goal in EURO history in their 3-2 victory against Poland, whose hopes of progressing were extinguished by Viktor Claesson's 94th-minute winner. Meanwhile, Spain matched the biggest victory at the finals by dismantling Slovakia 5-0.

Eight more goals followed in the last Group F fixtures. Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo equalled Ali Daei's international-goals record, occupied all four positions in the group at various stages of their 2-2 draw with France, while Germany needed a late Leon Goretzka drive to qualify with a 2-2 draw against Hungary.

28 June 2021: 14 goals (two games)

Round of 16: Croatia 3-5 Spain (aet), France 3-3 Switzerland (pens: 4-5)

Just five days after the highest-scoring day in EURO history, the knockout stage record went as well, with both games taking identical turns inside 90 minutes. Croatia and Spain were level at the break, but La Roja went 3-1 up with just 13 minutes remaining, only for Croatia substitutes Mislav Oršić and Mario Pašalić to strike in the last five minutes to force extra time. Álvaro Morata and Mikel Oyarzabal eventually saw Spain home.

France, too, came from a goal down to sit pretty at 3-1, with Karim Benzema on target twice, but Haris Seferović's second goal and a last-gasp Mario Gavranović drive took the match into extra time. This one ended up in a shoot-out, where Yann Sommer denied Kylian Mbappé to give Switzerland their maiden EURO knockout phase victory.

21 June 2000: 14 goals (four games)

Group C: Yugoslavia 3-4 Spain, Slovenia 0-0 Norway
Group D: Denmark 0-2 Czech Republic, France 2-3 Netherlands

EURO 2000 highlights: Yugoslavia 3-4 Spain
EURO 2000 highlights: Yugoslavia 3-4 Spain

The 14 goals on this day actually came in just three games as Slovenia and Norway played out a goalless draw. Spain were again at the forefront of the action, famously scoring twice in added time to snatch qualification from under the noses of their Nordic group rivals.

There was less drama but the same number of goals in the other group as the Oranje twice came from behind to beat fellow qualifiers France and top the group. Les Blues, of course, would have the last laugh by going on to lift the trophy. Elsewhere, Vladimír Šmicer scored both goals as the Czech Republic signed off with a victory.

18 June 1996: 13 goals (four games)

Group A: Scotland 1-0 Switzerland, Netherlands 1-4 England
Group B: France 3-1 Bulgaria, Romania 1-2 Spain

EURO ’96 highlights: England east past Netherlands
EURO ’96 highlights: England east past Netherlands

France and Spain also featured in the final round of group matches at EURO '96 and both earned the wins they needed to leave Bulgaria as the odd side out in the qualification quest. Spain again left it late, needing an 84th-minute Guillermo Amor goal to progress.

Most eyes were on Wembley Stadium, though, where England produced arguably their best ever EURO performance to sweep the Netherlands aside with two goals apiece from Alan Shearer and Teddy Sheringham. Patrick Kluivert's late reply proved crucial as the Oranje squeezed through at Scotland's expense.

6 July 1960: 12 goals (two games)

Semi-finals: France 4-5 Yugoslavia, Czechoslovakia 0-3 USSR

1960 semi-final highlights: France 4-5 Yugoslavia
1960 semi-final highlights: France 4-5 Yugoslavia

This was the opening day in the first edition of the competition! France led 3-1 and 4-2 in their last-four tie, but three goals in five minutes, two from Dražan Jerković, propelled Yugoslavia into the final. That still remains the highest-scoring EURO match. As for the USSR, they enjoyed a more comfortable passage, with Valentin Ivanov scoring twice. Viktor Ponedelnik added the third and would also score the extra-time winner in the final four days later.

19 June 1996: 12 goals (four games)

Group C: Russia 3-3 Czech Republic, Italy 0-0 Germany
Group D: Croatia 0-3 Portugal, Turkey 0-3 Denmark

After the 13-goal bonanza the previous day, the remaining EURO '96 groups followed suit. Portugal and Denmark had no trouble sealing their qualification, but the real spectacle came in Group C. Italy's point appeared to be enough to take them through along with Germany thanks to Russia overturning a two-goal deficit to lead the Czech Republic, yet that all changed when Šmicer struck his first international goal in the 88th minute. Dušan Uhrin's side would go on the reach the final, only to lose to Germany via a golden goal.

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