Hungary silence record crowd

A tournament record crowd of 72,800 gathered to watch the 1984 final in Moscow only for the home favourites to be defeated on penalties.

One of Hungary's talented crop of youngsters, Kálmán Kovács, seen here at the World Cup finals in 1986, played 56 times for his country
©Bob Thomas/Getty Images

A tournament record crowd of 72,800 gathered to watch the 1984 UEFA European Under-18 Championship final in Moscow, but the home favourites were defeated on penalties in a tense final by Hungary.

There were two notable absentee from the finals. Holders France were eliminated by Spain 3-2 on aggregate, while inaugural champions West Germany were pipped by Italy in a three-team group. Of the previous winners only Scotland, who overcame Wales 8-2 on aggregate, were present in the USSR, joined by the beaten finalists from the past two years, Czechoslovakia.

The hosts were to spend the tournament in Moscow and began with a convincing 5-0 win against Luxembourg in Group C, as England were held 1-1 by East Germany. England had the same score against the USSR as East Germany defeated Luxembourg 4-0, and although England beat the group minnows 2-0, they departed unbeaten as the home nation struck the only goal against East Germany.

Group A in the city then known as Leningrad also proved a tight affair. The Republic of Ireland began well, beating Scotland 3-0, while Portugal overcame Greece 3-1. Scotland bounced back with a 3-1 win against Portugal on Matchday 2 as Ireland went top with a 1-1 draw against Greece. Ireland's 3-2 victory against Portugal took them into the semi-finals as Scotland and Greece drew 1-1.

Poland had a perfect record in Kyiv, defeating Italy, Bulgaria and Denmark by 1-0 scorelines in Group B. Bulgaria's 2-2 draw with Denmark and 1-0 win against Italy left them second, the Azzurri's 3-0 victory versus Denmark in their second game giving them third place.

Hungary came through Group D in Minsk, also winning every game without conceding a goal. On Matchday 1 they defeated Czechoslovakia 3-0, effectively ending their hopes of a third consecutive final, while Spain beat Switzerland 2-1, the same score by which the Swiss then lost to Czechoslovakia. Hungary's 2-0 win against Spain took them clear and they then scored the only goal in their match with the Swiss as Spain and Czechoslovakia drew 1-1. Spain went on to lose to Brazil in the 1985 FIFA U-20 World Cup final, also in the Soviet Union.

Poland and Hungary put their winning streaks on the line in the semi-finals, and the Hungarians prevailed 2-0 to earn a tie against the USSR, who defeated Ireland 2-1. Poland beat the Irish by the same score for third place, and not only did Hungary end the tournament without conceding a goal but, after a scoreless final at the Lenin Central Stadium, they took the title by winning 3-2 on penalties against the hosts.