Top 5 Most Memorable European Championship Semi-Finals

Netherlands 2-2 Denmark (AET; Denmark win 4-5 on pens): Euro 1992

Denmark were not even meant to be in Euro 1992, however, due to Yugoslavia’s disqualification, the Danes were inducted into the tournament and nothing was expected of it, in truth.

They surprisingly advanced to the knockout stages after finishing second in their group ahead of England and France and many thought their luck would run out against a star-studded dutch side including the likes of Dennis Bergkamp and Marco van Basten. Goals from Bergkamp and Frank Rijkaard along with a brace from Henrik Larsen forced the game to extra time.

The game stayed tied during this time and went on to penalties where arguably the best striker in the games at the time, van Basten, had his penalty saved by Peter Schmeichel. Denmark scored all their penalties and progressed to the final where they shocked the world and beat Germany to lift the trophy. A truly memorable semi-final.

Germany 3-2 Turkey: Euro 2008

In Joachim Low’s first tournament as Germany manager, he led them to the Euro 2008 final where they lost to a Spain side at the beginning of their 'golden generation'. Germany were involved in many entertaining fixtures at the tournament, however, none were as entertaining as their semi-final victory over Turkey.

Uğur Boral gave Turkey the lead in the 22nd minute before Bastian Schweinsteiger equalised for the Germans four minutes later. Germany regained once again through Miroslav Klose, unfortunately for them, it didn’t last long as Turkey equalised again and cancelled out his effort.

The game looked destined to go to extra time before Philip Lahm’s late winner secured their place in the final against Spain.

France 3-2 Portugal: Euro 1984 Semi-final

Hosts France entered the competition without ever winning a major competition in their history and finally managed to do so in 1984. France had won all three games in the tournament and were confident when facing up against Portugal who narrowly progressed into the semi-finals.

Jean-François Domergue gave France the lead in the first half before Rui Jordao equalised in the 74th minute and the game proceeded to go to extra time where the two both scored leaving the match level with five minutes on the clock.

In the final minute, Jean Tigana’s cross found Michel Platini in the box who went on to score the winner, advancing France to the final where they beat Spain 2-0 and Platini cemented his place as one of the greatest of all time, finishing the tournament with nine goals. It remains arguably the greatest showing at a European Championship finals history.

Germany 1-2 Italy: Euro 2012

Italy defeated Germany on their way to the Euro 2012 final, in a game where Mario Balotelli scored a brace and produced one of the most memorable moments in recent football history with his tensing celebration. Balotelli opened the scoring for Italy in the 20th minute with a powerful header after a cross from Antonio Cassano.

The then Manchester City man then produced a moment of magic, blasting the ball past Manuel Neuer from around 30 yards from the German goal. Balotelli's celebration was unorthodox to say the least, as he removed his shirt and tensed for the crowd to see as he fired his nation through to the final of the tournament.

They lost to Spain 4-0, however, Balotelli’s impact will never be forgotten and his goals go down in Italian folklore.

England 1 Germany 1 (AET; Germany win 6-5 on pens): Euro 1996

30 years after World Cup success, England had stumbled upon another excellent side who looked capable of bringing silverware back home. With Alan Shearer leading the line, England were confident of getting past long time rivals Germany.

Shearer got England off to a fantastic start scoring within 3 minutes of the game, however, Germany responded quickly with an equaliser from Stefan Kuntz. The match went on to penalties where both sides had traded five goals between one another.

Current England manager, Gareth Southgate, then stepped up to take his penalty and missed, allowing for Germany to dispatch their sixth to with the game, breaking the hearts of an entire nation on home soil.


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