Euro 2016

4 epic Euro semi-finals to never forget

2016-07-05 12:36
Didier Six is challenged by Chalana during the Euro 1984 Semi-Final (Getty Images)

Cape Town - The 2016 European Championship semi-finals is upon us with Wales facing Portugal and the hosts France taking on Germany.

Since the inaugural tournament in 1960, we've seen some amazing semi-finals with the final four battling out to become the last two teams standing. Here are four of some of the most epic Euro semi-finals we'll never forget:

1. Euro 1960 - France and Yugoslavia

In the first European Championship, France faced Yugoslavia in the first semi-final in Paris and were looking for an easy win.

Things were looking good, as France were 4-2 up with 15 minutes remaining in the game, however a late flourish from Yugoslavia saw three goals scored in four minutes with two coming off the boot of Drazan Jerkovic in the final two minutes of the game.

The hosts crashed out of the tournament as the Serbian country won 5-4 in emphatic fashion.

2. Euro 1984 - France vs Portugal

After drawing 1-1 at full-time, Portugal were 2-1 up going into the final minutes of extra time, when Jean-François Domergue and Michel Platini scored the final two goals, which saw the French pull off a thrilling 3-2 victory against Portugal in Paris.

France went on to win their first major tournament when they defeated Spain 2-0 in the final.

3. Euro 1996 - England vs Germany

Favourites to win the 1996 European Championship, England were looking to use their home ground advantage to the fullest with a spirited performance at Wembley.

In the opening minutes of the game, Alan Shearer’s header put the English in front, however Stefan Kuntz’s equaliser arrived shortly and the teams stood on 1-1 at the final whistle.

Both teams had ample opportunities to score the winning goal, but all was fruitless as the game was taken into penalty shoot-outs.

England’s Gareth Southgate was the ‘fall guy’ and couldn’t see his team through as he missed the sixth penalty, which saw Germany head to the finals winning 6-5 on penalties.

Germany ultimately won the tournament when they defeated Czech Republic 2-1 in the final.

Stuart Pearce (left) consoles teammate Gareth Southgate after his penalty miss during the Euro semi-final match. (Getty Images)

4. Euro 2000 - Italy vs Holland

Who says you need goals to have an epic football match? And that’s exactly what happened in the 2000 semi-final between Italy and Holland where they went 0-0 after extra time.

The Italians were reduced to 10 men after Gianluca Zambrotta was sent off in the 34th minute, where a penalty was missed by Dutch’s Frank de Boer.

Italian goalkeeper and man-of-the-match Francesco Toldo gloved and denied the Dutch in the shoot-outs and helped them secure a 3-1 penalty victory. Holland took six penalties and could only deliver one in the back of the net.

Francesco Toldo of Italy saves penalty from Frank de Boer of Holland. (Getty Images)

Read more on:    euro 2016  |  soccer

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