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Background  

The Draw

The 16 teams qualifying for the 2000 European Championship finals competition were divided into four groups of four teams each for the first round of the final tournament by draw held 12 December 1999 in Brussels, Belgium.  Pursuant to the competition's regulations, UEFA seeded four teams as the heads of the four groups:  Belgium and Netherlands as the two host nations, Germany as the reigning European champion, and Spain as the highest ranked team in UEFA's November 1999 European national team ranking table, which assigned each team a coefficient calculated on the basis of results achieved in the qualifying competitions for the 1998 World Cup and the 2000 European Championship (excluding the playoff matches).

After some dithering over how the remaining 12 teams would be assigned to the four groups, UEFA finally decided, just two days before the draw, that they, too, would be seeded on the basis of the UEFA ranking table into three tiers of four teams each.  Ranked 17th in Europe, England were placed among the teams seeded fourth and lowest, Turkey, Denmark and Slovenia, the only teams in the finals with a lower ranking than England.  The teams seeded second were Romania, Norway, Sweden and the Czech Republic, and those seeded third were Yugoslavia, Portugal, world champions France and Italy.  The draw assigned to Group A, headed by Germany, England from the fourth tier of seeds, Romania from the second tier and Portugal from the third.

Pot 1 (seeded) Pot 2 Pot 3 Pot 4
Germany Czech Republic France Denmark
Belgium Norway Italy England
Spain Romania Portugal Slovenia
Netherlands Sweden Yugoslavia Turkey



 

 

The Build-Up

 

 


Group A Table

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Portugal 3 3 0 0 7 2 +5 9
Romania 3 1 1 1 4 4 =0 4
England 3 1 0 2 5 6 -1 3
Germany 3 0 1 2 1 5 -4 1
 

12 June 2000 all times CEST

6.00pm - Germany 1 Romania 1 [1-1]
Stade Sclessin, Liege (28,500)
Scholl
Moldovan
8.45pm - Portugal 3 England 2 [2-2]
Philips Stadion, Eindhoven (31,500/33,000)
Figo, Joáo Pinto, Nuno Gomes
Scholes, McManaman
17 June 2000
6.00pm - Romania 0 Portugal 1 [0-0]
Gelredome, Arnhem (21,000)
Costinha
8.45pm - England 1 Germany 0 [0-0]
Stade Communal, Charleroi (27,700/30,000)
Shearer
20 June 2000 both 8.45pm
England 2 Romania 3 [2-1]
Stade Communal, Charleroi (27,700/30,000)
Shearer (pen), Owen
Chivu, Munteanu, Ganea (pen)
Portugal 3 Germany 0 [1-0]
Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam (51,504)
Conceicao (3)

Group B Table

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Italy 3 3 0 0 6 2 +4 9
Turkey 3 1 1 1 3 2 +1 4
Belgium 3 1 0 2 2 5 -3 3
Sweden 3 0 1 2 2 4 -2 1

Group C Table

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Spain 3 2 0 1 6 5 +1 6
Yugoslavia 3 1 1 1 7 7 =0 4
Norway 3 1 1 1 1 1 =0 4
Slovenia 3 0 2 1 4 5 -1 2

Group D Table

Team P W D L F A GD Pts
Netherlands 3 3 0 0 7 2 +5 9
France 3 2 0 1 7 4 +3 6
Czech Republic 3 1 0 2 3 3 =0 3
Denmark 3 0 0 3 0 8 -8 0

Second Phase

24 June 2000
6.00pm Turkey 0 Portugal 2 [0-1]
Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
(42,000)
Nuno Gomes (2)
Alpay
6.30pm Italy 2 Romania 0 [2-0]
Stade du Roi Baudouin, Bruxelles (40,000)
Totti, Inzaghi
Hagi
25 June 2000
6.00pm Netherlands 6 Yugoslavia 1 [2-0]
Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam (51,504)
Kluivert (3), Govedarica OG, Overmars (2)
Milosevic
8.45pm Spain 1 France 2 [1-2]
Jan Breydel Stadion, Brugge (30,000)
Mendieta (pen)
Zidane, Djorkaeff
Quarter-Finals

 

Semi-finals

28 June 2000
8.45pm France 2 Portugal 1 [0-0]
AET [1-1] Golden Goal after 27 minutes
Stade Roi Baudouin,
Bruxelles
(45,000)
Henry, Zidane
Nuno Gomes
Nuno Gomes
29 June 2000
6.00pm Italy 0 Netherlands 0 [0-0]
AET [0-0] & Penalties [3-1]
Amsterdam ArenA, Amsterdam
(51,300)
 
Zambrotta
Penalty Shoot-out:- Di Biagio 1-0, de Boer 1-0, Pessetto 2-0, Stam 2-0, Totti 3-0, Kluivert 3-1, Maldini 3-1, Bosvelt 3-1.

 

The 2000 Final

2 July 2000 8.00pm
France 2 Italy 1 [0-0]
AET [1-1] Golden Goal after 14 minutes
Stadion Feijenoord, Rotterdam (48,000)
Wiltord, Trezeguet
Delvecchio


Notes

For months before the tournament, the media focused on England's pairing with traditional rivals Germany, on Germany's drastic decline, on whether England at long last might achieve their first win in competitive play against Germany since the 1966 World Cup.  Scant attention went to the group's other two teams.  England under Glenn Hoddle had easily beaten Portugal, 3-0, at Wembley Stadium in an early 1998 friendly, which might have accounted for cursory dismissal of the Portuguese as a threat, but Portugal had given clear evidence during their qualifying campaign that their play had improved immensely.  And Romania had beaten Hoddle's England 2-1 at France's World Cup on a last-minute goal.  Yet, as always, England expected, and, in the thrall of the national debate positing the old enemy as the main threat to England's chances, it must have been easy to assume England would beat Romania and Portugal.

In the event, England got their long-awaited win against Germany, 1-0, although the Germans, poor as they were, still had the better part of the play.  But it was no consolation for the two stunning 3-2 losses to Portugal and Romania that sent England home early yet again.  In both those matches, the single-goal margin belied the gaping disparity in the quality of the teams.  

It was apparent to observers with any objectivity that England suffered from glaring deficiencies in technical skills, relative immobility, alarming defensive vulnerabilities, tactical naivete, and rigidity and predictability in their play--weaknesses and failings that have infected England's game for decades now.  None of the steady and marked improvements Hoddle made in these areas during his tenure survived his dismissal and the hasty retention, largely for public relations purposes, of Kevin Keegan, hugely popular yet plainly in far over his head.  

For the first time, the media, which played a prominent role in ousting Hoddle and warmly greeted his replacement, subjected Keegan to criticism at once harsh and widespread.  Yet the Football Association, as obdurate as ever in clinging to its mistakes--or in refusing to admit them-- professed to have continuing confidence in the beleaguered manager as England prepared for their next campaign, qualification for World Cup 2002. 

 

CG/PY