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Belgium beat Hungary to win bronze at the 1972 EURO

Hungary 1-2 Belgium
Paul Van Himst capped a landmark day with the goal that earned the hosts third place.

Belgium's Paul Van Himst (centre) pictured in 1970
Belgium's Paul Van Himst (centre) pictured in 1970 Popperfoto via Getty Images

It proved a memorable day for Paul Van Himst in particular as hosts Belgium beat Hungary 2-1 to finish third.

Outclassed by West Germany in the semi-finals, Belgium dusted themselves down in impressive fashion. For Van Himst, who matched the Belgian record for most caps (68), it was an unforgettable occasion which was topped off by a goal which also drew him level with his country's best-ever haul of 30.

EURO 1972: All you need to know

Belgium were already one to the good by that point, Raoul Lambert beating Miklós Páncsics twice, leaving him on his backside, before shooting high and left-footed to the goalkeeper's right. Lambert then went up the left and delivered a cross which, after a mistake by István Géczi left the Hungarian goalkeeper stranded, presented Van Himst with an open goal.

Highlights: The best goals of EURO 1972

Lambert later went round the goalkeeper only to send a shot trickling wide. With Jan Verheyen marking Flórián Albert out of the game, Hungary were lucky to pull a goal back when Lajos Kű, having been felled by Léon Semmeling, converted the subsequent penalty. Van Himst and Lambert both spurned second-half opportunities to add to their tallies but there was no way back for Hungary.

EURO 1972: Team of the Tournament


Hungary: Géczi; Fábián, Páncsics (c), Péter Juhász, Bálint; Kű, Kozma, Albert, István Juhász; Dunai, Zámbó (Szűcs 45)
Substitutes: Rapp, Kovács, Kocsis, Szőke
Coach: Rudolf Illovsky

Belgium: Piot; Heylens, Dolmans, Thissen, Polleunis; Vandendaele, Semmeling Verheyen; Dockx, Lambert, Van Himst (c)
Substitutes: Sanders, Van Binst, Martens, Teugels, Janssens
Coach: Raymond Goethals

Referee: Johan Einar Boström (Sweden)