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Greatest Upsets Ever At The Euros

May 31, 2016

- Grant Whittington

With the hype and expectations very quickly building up towards to the commencement of Euro 2016 this June we thought we would take a look back at some of the most memorable tournament upsets ever to happen at the Euros. There will be plenty of world-class teams on show this year in France but even with experience and quality as football has proved time after time this by no means guarantees an easy route to the later stages. And it’s the shocks and surprises like these following examples that make it one of the most exciting tournaments in the world.

PORTUGAL 2-2 ENGLAND, 2004

Another tournament and yet more penalty heartbreak for England. In 2004 England once again found themselves in the Quarter Final seeking a place in the semis, this time facing hosts Portugal. Despite throwing everything they possibly could at the game in order to secure a victory and even with Sol Campbell managing to get the ball into the back of the net in the 90th-minute only to have England’s hopes dashed once more as it was disallowed the game eventually went to penalties.

A Beckham bungle and a saved shot from Darius Vassell led to another missed opportunity for the England side.

CZECH REPUBLIC 2-1 ITALY, 1996

Even though the England hosted 1996 Euro tournament will be remembered more for its devastating penalty shoot-out defeat for the home nation there was another significant shock in store. The Czech Republic international team had only been around for a while but they managed to surprise everyone when they beat Italy in their second group match 2-1. The Italian side were forced to beat Germany in order to stay in the contest but could only manage a paltry 0-0 draw.

NETHERLANDS 1-4 ENGLAND, 1996

Dependent on which country you support this entry can be seen as an incredibly memorable achievement or an absolute devastating rout. England’s 1-4 trouncing of the Netherlands on home soil during the Euro 1996 tournament was another shock defeat for one of the tournament favourites. Despite the dramatic defeat for the Dutch side they still managed to scrape through above Scotland to secure a quarter final place.

RUSSIA 3-1 NETHERLANDS, 2008

Over the past years it seems that Holland are quite frequently on the receiving end of a shock result, and in 2008 it was Russia who handed them a surprising defeat once more. The Dutch side had already pretty much dominated their group against tough rivals France, Italy and Romania but it was the unexpected Russian team that pushed Holland into extra time in their quarter final fixture before Dmitri Torbinski and Andrei Arshavin smashed in back to back goals in the 112th and 116th minutes respectively.

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