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The Most Memorable European Championship Games of All-Time

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The Most Memorable European Championship Games of All-Time

The European Championships have always promised drama and excitement all the way from the Group stage to on the biggest stage in the Final. Here’s the breakdown of the most memorable games at the European Championships.

Turkey 3 - 2 Czech Republic, 2008.

The first instance of Group stage drama saw Turkey take on the Czech Republic at the 2008 European Championships in Austria and Switzerland. Group A consisted of Switzerland, Turkey, the Czech Republic and Portugal.

This game was the last of the Group stage and would be the decider as to which side would advance to the knockout stages.

The game started on a fiery note with Mehmet Topal and Mehmet Aurélio both booked before the ten minute mark for Turkey. The Czech Republic drew first blood with a goal from Jan Koller to give the Czech Republic the 1 - 0 lead at halftime.

Jaroslav Plašil doubled the lead for the Czech Republic just after the hour mark but Arda Turan kicked off the comeback for Turkey with 15 minutes to go. Nihate Kahveci found the back of the net twice in two minutes in the dying moments of the game to give Turkey the 3 - 2 lead. Despite the sending off of Volkan Demirel for Turkey, they held on for the 3 - 2 win, completing the 15 minute turnaround.

Yugoslavia 3 - 4 Spain, 2000.

Group C of the 2000 European Championships in Belgium saw the likes of Spain, Norway, Yugoslavia and Slovenia all fighting for a spot in the knockout stages.

Savo Milošević opened the scoring for Yugoslavia right on the stroke of the half hour mark but Alfonso Pérez equalised for Spain before the halftime whistle.

Yugoslavia regained the lead just five minutes into the second half through Dejan Govedarica but within a minute Pedro Munitis equalised for Spain. 15 minutes to go and Yugoslavia retook the lead again, with Slobodan Komljenović on the scoresheet.

However, in extra time, Spain fought back. A penalty from Gaizka Mendieta in the fourth minute of extra time drew Spain level and just a minute later Alfonso bagged his second of the game to wrap up a 4 - 3 win for Spain having fought for the extra time comeback.

France 2 - 1 England, 2004.

Another Group stage that brought the drama was Group B at the 2004 European Championships in Portugal, as top seeds France and England met in their first game of the Championships.

A goal from Frank Lampard in the 38th minute put England in the driving seat for the majority of the game. David Beckham had the chance to double the lead for The Three Lions, but his second half penalty was saved by Fabien Barthez for France.

Les Bleus were trailing until after the end of normal time, until Zinedine Zidane popped up with two goals in quick succession. A goal in the first minute of extra time and a penalty just two minutes later grabbed a big 2 - 1 win for France as penalties haunted England once again.

France 4 - 5 Yugoslavia, 1960.

The 1960 European Championships saw hosts France take on Yugoslavia in the Semi Finals. France had already shown that they were scoring goals for fun, beating Greece 8 - 2 in the Round of 16 and beating Austria 9 - 4 in the Quarter Finals. This was no different in the Semi Finals against Yugoslavia.

Milan Galić gave Yugoslavia the early lead in the 11th minute but France immediately responded with Jean Vincent finding the back of the net just a minute later. François Heutte’s first goal of the game gave France the lead going into halftime and a goal from Maryan Wisniewski gave France a two goal cushion early in the second half.

Ante Zanteić did get Yugoslavia scoring again just minutes later but another goal from Huette restored the two goal cushion for France. However, in a four minute period Tomislav Knez scored and Dražan Jerković picked up a brace to give Yugoslavia the 5 - 4 win and to knock out the hosts.

Spain 4 - 0 Italy, 2012.

There’s no bigger stage at the European Championships than the Final and the Final of the 2012 Euros in Ukraine and Poland brought the big stars and a big shock.

David Silva opened the scoring for Spain in the 14th minute and Jordi Alba doubled the lead just before the halftime whistle. Ten minutes to go in the second half Fernando Torres scored to make it 3 - 0 and an even later goal from Juan Mata secured the 4 - 0 win and title for Spain.

Despite having a good run to the Final, Italy failed to make an impression, failing to convert any of their six shots on target as they slumped to the biggest defeat in any Euros Final.

France 2 - 1 Italy, 2000.

Another Final with big drama came at the 2000 European Championship in Belgium between France and Italy.

After a goalless first half, Marco Delvecchio found the back of the net for Italy just ten minutes into the second half. France, once again, left it late, with Sylvain Wiltord scoring in the fourth minute of added time to draw France level and send the tie to extra time.

David Trezeguet scored in the 103rd minute to give France the 2 - 1 win and the trophy as the Championships were still operating under the golden goal rule.

Portugal 2 - 2 England (Portugal wins on penalties), 2004.

The quarter-finals of the 2004 European Championships in Portugal saw the hosts take on England.

England opened the scoring early on in the third minute, with Michael Owen on the scoresheet for The Three Lions. Captain Luís Figo was substituted for wildcard choice Hélder Postiga who immediately scored for Portugal in the 83rd minute to send this tie to extra time.

Rui Costa drew first blood for Portugal in extra time but Lampard equalised with just five minutes to go as the tie was sent to penalties. Beckham and Darius Vassell both missed for England as Portugal picked up a 6 - 5 win and a spot in the Semi Finals.

Czechoslovakia 2 - 2 West Germany (Czechoslovakia wins on penalties), 1976.

The 1976 European Championships saw hosts Yugoslavia in the Final where they faced favourites West Germany.

Jan Svehlik gave Czechoslovakia the early lead in the eighth minute and Karol Dobiaš doubled the lead in the 25th minute. Dieter Müller got West Germany in the game before halftime and Bernd Hölzenbein equalised in the last minute of normal time.

Neither side could find the back of the net in extra time as the tie was sent to penalties. All five of Czechoslovakia’s penalties were converted but Uli Hoeneß missed for West Germany, giving Czechoslovakia the 5 - 3 win and the title on home soil.