Euro 2004 – Portugal

Euro 2004 – Portugal

Hosts: Portugal

Final: Greece 1 Portugal 0

Top Scorer: Milan Baros (Czech Republic) 5 goals
Teams/Matches: 16/31
Facts and Figures:

* Euro 2004 was the twelfth UEFA European Football Championship.

* Euro 2004 was full of surprises with Germany, Spain and Italy having failed to qualify from the group stages.

* Euro 2004 opened and closed with Greece defeating the host nation.

* 77 goals were scored at Euro 2004 at an average of 2.48 per match.

* Portuguese-Canadian pop singer Nelly Furtado performed her single and official theme song "Forca" at the opening ceremony of Euro 2004.

* Greece became the first team in Euro championship history to defeat both the holders and the hosts in the same tournament.

Final

The Greek team provided one of the biggest shocks in Euro championship history. Starting out as rank outsiders, they defeated the host nation 2-1 in the opening game of the tournament. Greece drew with Spain before losing to Russia in their final group game. They scraped through to the quarter finals on goals scored. Portugal recovered from their opening-game defeat to win the groups with two victories.

England looked to be on course to beat the holders, France, when leading 1-0 only to concede two goals in injury time. 18-year-old Wayne Rooney was instrumental in England’s victories over Switzerland and Croatia to seal qualification. Group C resulted in a three-way tie between Sweden, Denmark, and Italy for first spot. Italy were controversially eliminated on the number of goals scored between the three sides after Sweden and Denmark drew 2–2.

The Czech Republic was the only team to win all of their group games, defeating Latvia, the Netherlands, and Germany. The Netherlands finished runner-up in Group D.

England went ahead after only two minutes in their quarter final clash with Portugal through Michael Owen and the hosts did not draw level until the 83rd minute through Helder Postiga. The match finished 2-2 after extra-time and England’s penalty jinx struck again as they went down 6-5. The Greeks continued their march towards the final with Angelos Charisteas scoring the winner against France. The Netherlands needed a penalty shootout to beat Sweden. Tournament top scorer, Milan Baros, scored twice to see the Czech Republic beat Denmark 3-0.

Portugal and the Netherlands faced each other in the first semi-final. Ronaldo put the hosts ahead in their semi-final clash with the Netherlands and a second from Maniche was enough to clinch a 2-1 win over the Dutch. The Czech Republic were favourites to beat Greece in the second semi-final but Traianos Dellas headed an extra-time goal to send the Greeks into the final of Euro 2004.

Portugal dominated possession in the final but was continually frustrated by the Greek defence. Angelos Charisteas sensationally put the tournament underdogs ahead with just under an hour played and the hosts could not find an equaliser. Greece won the match 1–0 and were crowned Euro 2004 winners.

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