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Klinsmann's Germany double sinks Russia in EURO '96 Group C

Russia 0-3 Germany
Captain Jürgen Klinsmann returned from suspension with two late goals.

Jürgen Klinsmann and Matthias Sammer celebrate a goal against Russia
Jürgen Klinsmann and Matthias Sammer celebrate a goal against Russia Bongarts/Getty Images

Jürgen Klinsmann made a telling return from suspension with two late goals that followed Matthias Sammer's opener and Yuri Kovtun's dismissal for the beleaguered Russians.

Germany had already asserted their authority on the tournament with a 2-0 opening victory against the Czech Republic – this, though, was a real statement of intent. Sammer set the ball rolling 11 minutes after half-time, but it was not until Kovtun was shown red with 20 minutes left that Berti Vogts' team went into overdrive; Klinsmann was at his brilliant best.

EURO '96: All you need to know

It could all have been so different if Russia, a match for their opponents in the first half, had taken the lead when Aleksandr Mostovoi was sent clean through by Dmitri Khokhlov. Ilya Tsymbalar's deflected shot also hit a post but it was not to be – the second half belonged to Germany.

The best goals of EURO '96

Sammer, previously a strong midfield player, was now a high-class sweeper whose performances in this tournament made him European Footballer of the Year. Coming through from the back, he took Andreas Möller's fine pass, had his first shot saved, and chipped the goalkeeper with his second.

Kovtun was sent off for a foul on Dieter Eilts and that was the end of the Russian challenge; Klinsmann was suddenly allowed far more room up front and duly flourished. His first goal was a virtuoso effort, a clever turn away from Yuri Nikiforov followed by a shot with the outside of his foot which curled high past Dmitri Kharin's right hand.

Germany's third arrived in added time when Nikiforov was robbed of possession by Stefan Kuntz, whose cross was tapped in by Klinsmann to all but cement his country's place in the last eight.

EURO '96: Team of the Tournament


Germany celebrate their win at Old Trafford
Germany celebrate their win at Old TraffordIcon Sport via Getty Images

Russia: Kharin; Kovtun, Nikiforov, Onopko (c), Tetradze; Tsymbalar, Khokhlov (Simutenkov 66), Radimov (Karpin 46), Kanchelskis; Kolyvanov, Mostovoi
Substitutes: KIryakov, Cherchesov, Dobrovolski, Shalimov, Beschastnykh, Yanovsky, Gorlukovich, Ovchinnikov
Coach: Oleg Romantsev

Germany: Köpke; Ziege, Helmer, Sammer, Babbel, Reuter; Eilts, Möller (Strunz 87), Hässler (Freund 67); Bierhoff (Kuntz 85), Klinsmann (c)
Substitutes: Bode, Scholl, Bobic, Kahn, Schneider, Reck
Coach: Berti Vogts

Referee: Kim Milton Nielsen (Denmark)

Man of the Match: Jürgen Klinsmann (Germany)