Portugal maintain highest standard

Portugal became the first nation to win the Under-16 title two years running when they took the title in 1996. It was a feat no one would repeat.

The 1996 final matchwinner Petit went on to play 57 internationals for the full Portuguese national side
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Portugal became the first nation to win the Under-16 championship two years running when they took the title again in Austria in 1996. It was a feat that would never be matched.

All the 1995 semi-finalists - Portugal, Spain, Germany and France - were back a year on, and the holders and hosts Austria were in Group A. Portugal began well, beating Poland 3-0, but Austria lost 1-0 to the Republic of Ireland. The hosts then ended goalless against Poland - both teams having one man sent off - as Portugal defeated Ireland 2-0 to secure a semi-final place. Ireland overcame Poland 1-0 to join them, as a 2-2 draw with the hosts gave Portugal top spot. Greece finished top of Group B and were joined in the quarter-finals by Germany, who they had defeated 2-1 in their opening match. Greece then defeated Romania 1-0 to qualify, and claimed top spot after drawing 1-1 with Ukraine. Germany thrashed Ukraine 6-1 and made sure of second place with a 4-1 win against Romania.

France enjoyed a comfortable passage from Group C, defeating Croatia, Spain and Switzerland. They were joined in the last eight by Croatia who recovered from their opening day defeat with wins against both Switzerland and Spain. Michael Owen scored the second as England beat Slovakia 2-0 in their Group D opener. Two Owen goals then beat one from a future Newcastle United FC club-mate, Turkey's Emre Belözoglu, as England claimed a quarter-final spot. But it was Israel who would go through as group winners. They recovered from a 3-0 opening defeat by Turkey to defeat Slovakia 2-0 and then overcame England 2-1 - Yossi Benayuon opening the scoring both times - to finish top.

Unlike a year earlier, the four group winners made it through the quarter-finals. Portugal - helped by a Simão hat-trick - defeated Croatia 5-1 with all goals in the first half, while one was enough for Greece against England. Israel trailed Germany 2-0 at the break but won 3-2 in extra time, and France and Ireland were locked at 0-0 after 100 minutes before Les Bleus prevailed on penalties. In the semi-finals, Portugal won 3-0 against a Greece side reduced to ten men on 17 minutes. Roland Vieira's 53rd-minute goal took France past Israel, who then beat the Greeks 3-2 with a last-gasp winner for bronze. In the Vienna final, Petit's 43rd-minute goal gave Portugal a 1-0 victory versus France.