Euro 2000 - Belgium & The Netherlands

Euro 2000 - Belgium & The Netherlands

Hosts: Belgium and The Netherlands

Final: France 2 Italy 1 (a.e.t.)

Top Scorer: Patrick Kluivert (The Netherlands), Savo Milosevic (Yugoslavia) 5 goals each
Teams/Matches: 16/31

Facts and Figures:

* Euro 2000 was the eleventh UEFA European Football Championship.

* Euro 2000 was held in Belgium and The Netherlands, which was the first time that the tournament was co-hosted.

* France won the tournament by beating Italy with a “golden goal” in extra-time. This was the second time that the championship had been decided by a golden goal following Germany’s win over the Czech Republic in Euro 1996.

* 85 goals were scored at Euro 2000 at an average of 2.74 per match.

* Euro 2000 saw the first major UEFA competition contested in the former Heysel Stadium since the tragic events of the 1985 European Cup Final.

* The official mascot for the tournament was a lion-devil named Benelucky. The lion is the national football emblem of the Netherlands and a devil is the emblem of Belgium.

Final

One of the biggest surprises of the tournament was Portugal who won all three matches in Group A. They easily defeated Germany 3-0 and staged a remarkable comeback to beat England 3-2, having trailed 2-0. England’s misery was complete when Romania scored a late penalty in their last group game to eliminate them from the tournament.

Co-hosts Belgium had a surprise exit from Euro 2000 in the group stage. Despite opening with a victory over Sweden, they fell to defeat against both Turkey and Italy. The other co-host and pre-tournament favourite, the Netherlands, progressed from Group D along with World Cup winners France. The highlight of Group C was an astonishing comeback by Spain. Needing a win to ensure qualification, they trailed 3–2 after ninety minutes but scored twice in injury time for a 4–3 victory.

Italy and Portugal maintained their 100% records by beating Romania and Turkey in the quarter-finals. The Netherlands thrashed Yugoslavia 6–1 and France defeated Spain 2–1 after Raul missed a late penalty. Italy battled past the Netherlands in the semi-finals, largely thanks to goalkeeper Francesco Toldo who saved a penalty in normal play and two more in the penalty shootout.

France joined the Italians in the final of Euro 2000 by beating Portugal 2-1, thanks to an extra-time penalty by player of the tournament, Zinedine Zidane.

France became the first team in Euro Championship history to win the competition as World Champions when they overcame Italy with a “golden goal” by David Trezeguet. The Italians had looked certain to be crowned Euro 2000 winners when they led 1-0 deep into stoppage time, only for Wiltord to stun them with an equaliser in the 94th minute. It was a second tournament victory for the French following their previous success in 1984.

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