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USSR make it past Hungary to reach EURO 1972 final

Hungary 0-1 USSR
Anatoliy Konkov's goal and Evgeni Rudakov's penalty save made the difference.

1972 highlights: Hungary 0-1 USSR
1972 highlights: Hungary 0-1 USSR

The Soviet Union reached a third showpiece in four editions of the UEFA European Championship courtesy of a 1-0 win against Hungary in Brussels.

In the latter stages for a fourth time in succession, the USSR went one better than they did in Italy four years earlier. Hungary played all the football on this occasion but the USSR's tactical approach – one centred around retreating into a solid defensive unit – reaped reward.

EURO 1972: All you need to know

They were aided by an unusually subdued performance from Ferenc Bene as well as half-chances being spurned by the likes of Lajos Kű, Antal Dunai and Miklós Páncsics. However, behind to Anatoliy Konkov's effort, a deflected shot which somehow made its way through a crowded goalmouth following a corner, Hungary looked to have earned a late reprieve.

Highlights: The best goals of EURO 1972
Highlights: The best goals of EURO 1972

Five minutes remained when Revaz Dzodzuashvili's infringement was adjudged to be a penalty. Sándor Zámbó took the spot kick but Evgeni Rudakov guessed correctly, diving to his left to preserve his team's advantage.

EURO 1972: Team of the Tournament


Hungary: Géczi; Fábián, Páncsics, Péter Juhász, Bálint; Szőke, Kocsis (Dunai 60), Kű, István Juhász; Bene (c) (Albert 60), Zámbó
Substitutes: Szűcs, Kovács, Rapp
Coach: Rudolf Illovsky

USSR: Rudakov; Dzodzuashvili, Troshkin, Kaplichni, Istomin; Khurtsilava (c), Kolotov, Baidachny, Konkov; Banishevskiy (Nodia 70), Onischenko
Substitutes: Abramov, Matvienko, Muntyan, Pilguy
Coach: Aleksandr Ponomarev

Referee: Rudi Glöckner (East Germany)