3 Greatest European Championship Semi-Finals of All-Time

The 17th edition of the UEFA Euro 2024 is underway with Spain, France, England, and the Netherlands reaching the semi-finals stage. While Spain and France will go head-to-head on Tuesday, July 9, England will face the Netherlands on the next day. Ahead of the Euro 2024 semi-finals, let’s take a look at the greatest-ever European championship semi-finals.

Euro 1960: France 4-5 Yugoslavia

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The first-ever match at the European championship finals took place in 1960 as the host nation, France, faced Yugoslavia in the semi-finals. With the half-time approaching, France captain Fran├žois Heutte gave his side a 2-1 lead. In the second half, France scored two goals while Yugoslavia scored just one with five minutes remaining. Miraculously, Yugoslavia came from behind to score three goals in the last five minutes and clinched the victory. The match saw a total of nine goals being scored, making it the highest-scoring match in Euro history.

Euro 2012: Germany 1-2 Italy

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In the Euro 2012, Italy kept an unbeaten record with two draws and a win to finish second in Group C and defeated England on penalties in the quarter-final. However, their semi-final opponents Germany managed a winning record in the tournament with four wins in four matches. But Italy forward Mario Balotelli had different plans as he scored Italy’s first-ever Euro semi-final goal and doubled the lead in 36 minutes. Mesut Ozil salvaged a goal in the added time as Italy qualified for the final.

Euro 1976: Yugoslavia 2-4 West Germany

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The defending champions, West Germany, arrived in Belgrade to face the two-time runners-up, Yugoslavia, in their Euro semi-final clash in 1976. Yugoslavia started strong with two goals in the first half, however, West Germany coach Helmut Schon made two substitutions that changed the game. Heinz Flohe was brought in at the start of the second half and scored just over the one-hour mark. With just 11 minutes remaining, Schon introduced uncapped Dieter Muller, who equalised after three minutes and forced the game into extra time. Muller scored two goals and completed his hat-trick to guide West Germany to their second consecutive European Championship final.

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