Greatest comebacks in EURO history
Saturday, June 5, 2021
From nine-goal thrillers to last-gasp victories – eight of the most famous EURO fightbacks.
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1960 semi-finals: France 4-5 Yugoslavia
The opening game of the inaugural UEFA European Championship produced an encounter barely equalled for drama since. France went 2-1 up before half-time and led 4-2 with a quarter of an hour left, only for three strikes in five minutes to turn the match on its head.
1976 semi-finals: Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany (aet)
With West Germany two down inside half an hour, the holders' title defence was on the rocks. Helmut Schön's 1974 FIFA World Cup winners did not deal in capitulations, however, and they rallied thanks in large part to a hat-trick from substitute Dieter Müller – not a bad international debut for the forward.
1984 semi-finals: France 3-2 Portugal (aet)
The comeback glory looked to be all Portugal's after they recovered from falling behind to take the lead in extra time. Hosts France had Michel Platini in their ranks, though, and their captain once more came to the fore, setting up his team's equaliser before hitting a 119th-minute winner.
2000 group stage: Yugoslavia 3-3 Slovenia
The odds were stacked against Yugoslavia with 30 minutes to go; Slovenia led 3-0 and also had a man extra after Siniša Mihajlović's dismissal. However, Yugoslavia hauled it back with goals on 67, 70 and 73 minutes, Ivan Dudić's late clearance ensuring their hard work did not go to waste.
2000 group stage: Portugal 3-2 England
England looked to be laying down a marker after Paul Scholes and Steve McManaman put them 2-0 up inside 18 minutes of their tournament opener, but they were facing a world-class midfield with other ideas. Luís Figo and João Pinto duly responded before half-time, and Rui Costa's sublime pass then allowed Nuno Gomes to clinch a famous victory.
2000 group stage: Yugoslavia 3-4 Spain
Spain looked dead and buried as this, their final group game, wound to a close. José Antonio Camacho's men needed a win to progress but trailed 3-2 to ten-man Yugoslavia as the match entered added time. Gaizka Mendieta's penalty drew them level, then Alfonso Pérez delivered – and pandemonium ensued.
2004 group stage: Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic
Dick Advocaat's team appeared well placed after building a 2-0 cushion inside 19 minutes, yet the 1996 runners-up quickly halved their arrears courtesy of Jan Koller. Milan Baroš made it 2-2 before John Heitinga was dismissed, leaving Vladimír Šmicer to apply the coup de grace with two minutes left.
2008 group stage: Turkey 3-2 Czech Republic
An exhilarating tournament for Turkey was summed up by the final four minutes here. Fatih Terim's charges were 2-1 down and in need of a hero; captain Nihat Kahveci levelled on 87 minutes then scored the winner with a minute to spare, and the chaos was complete when Volkan Demirel was sent off. They duly did it again in the quarter-finals!