Sousa double delights Portugal

Not since 1988 has UEFA's junior national team tournament been won by the hosts. In the 2003, however, Portugal made full use of home advantage.

Not since 1988 has UEFA's junior national team tournament been won by the hosts. In the 2002/03 UEFA European Under-17 Championship, however, Portugal made full use of home advantage.

The 2002 finals had opened with a 4-4 thriller, and the first match this time was also high scoring between Denmark and the hosts. In the last eight minutes of the first half, Portugal trailed 1-0, led 2-1 and were pegged back to 2-2, before 53rd-minute substitute Manuel Corto scored the winner for the home nation with his first touch. In the other Group A game, Austria beat Hungary 1-0, while in Group B England defeated Israel 2-1 and Spain overcame Italy 2-0. Portugal were through as group winners after Matchday 2 as they defeated Austria 1-0 and Denmark claimed a 2-0 win against Hungary, whose hopes ended. In Group B Spain saw off Israel 3-0 to reach the semi-finals and England's game with Italy ended goalless.

A 2-0 win against Hungary kept up Portugal's perfect record two days later, and Austria followed them into the semi-finals with a 2-0 win against Denmark thanks to goals from Patrick Mayer and Daniel Horvath. England needed only a point against Spain to advance from Group B, and after trailing 2-0 at the break John Peacock’s side fought back to draw, meaning Italy’s 4-0 win against Israel was in vain.

Spain, who had won a record six U16 titles, made up for their defeat in the 2002 semi-finals by defeating Austria 5-2. David scored four times in the match on his way to a tournament-leading six goals. The other encounter between Portugal and England proved much closer. Dean Bowditch put England ahead on eight minutes but Adelino Freitas swiftly levelled. James Milner made it 2-1 in the 21st minute only for Portugal substitute Saleiro to head an added-time equaliser. Penalties ensued, and Grant Leadbitter's miss put the hosts through to set up an all-Iberian final.

There was more heartbreak for England in the third-place play-off when Daniel Pirker's 53rd-minute goal gave Austria a 1-0 win. Then in front of 9,000 fans in Viseu, Márcio Sousa gave Portugal the half-time lead in the final, and although David equalised two minutes after the break, Sousa struck again five minutes later to seal victory for Portugal.