Archives July 2020

EURO opening games: First goals, results, scorers (part 2)

1984: France 1-0 Denmark, Parc des Princes, Paris

Platini 78

Opening goal: France were rewarded for their persistence in trying to pierce the Denmark midfield when, with the Danes failing to clear, Michel Platini arrived on the edge of the box to spear in – via a deflection.

1988: West Germany 1-1 Italy, Rheinstadion, Düsseldorf

Brehme 55; Mancini 52

Opening goal: Roberto Mancini‘s first Azzurri goal in 14 appearances came against the host nation, as he rounded off an Italian attack from the right flank by striking on the turn at close range.

1992: Sweden 1-1 France, Råsunda Stadium, Solna

Eriksson 24; Papin 58

Opening goal: Jan Eriksson‘s powerful header broke the deadlock in 1992. Unmarked, the centre-half bombed into the penalty area to meet Anders Limpar’s floated corner and give Sweden an early lead.

1996: England 1-1 Switzerland, Wembley Stadium, London

Shearer 23; Türkyilmaz 83pen

Opening goal: Alan Shearer latched onto Paul Ince’s through ball to put England ahead. The front-man timed his run to perfection before flashing high into the net – ending a 21-month international goal drought.

2000: Belgium 2-1 Sweden, King Baudouin Stadium, Brussels

Goor 43, Mpenza 46; Mjällby 53

Opening goal: Bart Goor’s one-man effort sent the Red Devils in front. Winning back his own misplaced pass, the winger made strides towards the Swedish penalty box, where he buried a low shot.

2004: Portugal 1-2 Greece, Estádio do Dragão, Porto

Ronaldo 90+3; Karagounis 7, Basinas 51pen

Opening goal: Giorgios Karagounis shocked hosts Portugal, rippling the net seven minutes into the tournament curtain-raiser. Sweeping up a untidy clearance, the midfielder rifled past Ricardo from 25 metres.

2008: Switzerland 0-1 Czech Republic, St.Jakob-Park, Basel

Svĕrkoš 71

Opening goal: A mighty upfield header landed perfectly for the breaking Václav Svĕrkoš – a second-half substitute – who kept his composure and dispatched a low effort into the Swiss bottom corner.

2012: Poland 1-1 Greece, Stadion Narodowy, Warsaw

Lewandowski 17; Salpingidis 51

Opening goal: Heading in from Jakub Błaszczykowski’s searching cross, Robert Lewandowski described his “unimaginable” joy at snatching the finals’ first goal in front of the home crowd.

2016: France 2-1 Romania, Stade de France, Saint-Denis

Giroud 57, Payet 89; Stancu 65pen

Opening goal: Centre-forward Olivier Giroud rose highest to beat the Romanian goalkeeper to Dimitri Payet’s devilish in-swinging delivery and head home France’s first of the campaign.

EURO opening games: First goals, results, scorers (part 1)

Let’s look back at the scores, opening goals, and venues of the games that got each UEFA European Championship started.

1960: France 4-5 Yugoslavia, Parc des Princes, Paris

Vincent 12, Heutte 43 62, Wisniewski 53; Galić 11, Žanetić 55, Knez 75, Jerković 78 79

Opening goal: Milan Galić’s early strike against France in Paris set the 1960 competition alight. However, Yugoslavia’s one-goal advantage lasted less than 60 seconds as Les Bleus promptly equalized.

1964: Spain 2-1 Hungary, aet, Estádio Santiago Bernabéu, Madrid

Pereda 35, Amancio 112; Bene 84

Opening goal: Jesús María Pereda netted a goal for La Roja 35 minutes into the Madrid semi-final. The Spain midfielder praised his team-mates for working well as a unit and soon they would be champions.

1968: Italy 0-0 Soviet Union, Stadio San Paolo, Naples

Opening goal: The tournament’s first goal did not come in Naples but later on the opening day of action, in Florence, where Yugoslavia’s Dragan Džajić jabbed in a winner 4 minutes from time against England.

1972: Belgium 1-2 West Germany, Bosuilstadion, Antwerp

Polleunis 83; Müller 24 71

Opening goal: West Germany ace Gerd Müller topped off a darting run by glancing over Belgium’s goalkeeper, claiming the competition’s first goal.

1976: Czechoslovakia 3-1 Netherlands, aet, Stadion Maksimir, Zagreb

Ondruš 19, 73, Nehoda 114, Veselý 118

Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany, aet, Stadion Rajko Mitić, Belgrade

Popivoda 19, Džajić 30; Flohe 64, Müller 82 115 119

Opening goals: Both semi-finals started at the same time and the first goal in each game was scored in the 19th minute: Danilo Popivoda for Yugoslavia and Anton Ondruš for Czechoslovakia.

1980: Czechoslovakia 0-1 West Germany, Stadio Olimpico, Rome

Rummenigge 57

Opening goal: Karl-Heinze Rummenigge of West Germany flung himself at Hansi Müller’s lofted cross to nod in at the back post, sealing Die Mannschaft’s opening victory.