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Match Number Six — Thursday 24th June 2004
Estádio do Sport Lisboa e Benfica, Bairro Dona Leonor, Lisboa

Referee: Urs Meier (Switzerland)

Linesmen: Francesco Buragina and Rudolf Kappeli (Switzerland)

It had been six years since England's last penalty shootout, following the classic World Cup encounter with Argentina, and eight years since their only victory from the spot, against Spain, in the 1996 European Championship. For Portugal, this was a completely new experience for their full international team, though they had won the World Youth Cup (under-20) in 1991 on penalties, against Brazil in the same stadium, with Rui Costa converting the kick, which clinched the trophy.


David James (Manchester City and England) aged 33.

Ricardo (Sporting Lisbon and Portugal) aged 28.

James was winning his 28th appearance and had faced five previous penalties in England internationals, all of which were scored, apart from the first, shot wide by Abundis, for Mexico at Pride Park in 2001. The most recent was eleven nights earlier, in the same stadium, at the same end where the shootout was to take place. It was England's opening match of the tournament and France had just equalised in added time, when James was forced to bring down Thierry Henry and concede a penalty. Zinedine Zidane promptly secured the win for his countrymen by side-footing it, with his right foot, from where it spun into the left inner side-netting, as James dived the other way, though Henry (along with two England players, Neville and Campbell) was well inside the area when the kick was taken. Four years earlier, James had saved two penalties at Wembley, as Aston Villa won a shootout in the F.A. Cup semi-finals. He had begun 2004 in the First Division, with West Ham United, but returned to the Premiership in January, by joining Manchester City as a replacement for the retiring David Seaman, just as he had been the previous year at international level, during England's qualifying campaign for the European Championship.

Ricardo had served notice of his prowess as both a saver and converter of penalties in the previous year's UEFA Cup, with his previous club, Boavista. Against Malaga, in the quarter-finals, he had stepped up to take his team's first penalty and promptly put them ahead in the shootout, before saving a kick himself, whilst another was missed, as Boavista ran out 4-1 winners. Then, in the semi-finals, he had prevented a first-leg victory for Celtic, by stopping Henrik Larsson's late spot-kick at Parkhead, though Celtic went on to win the second leg in Oporto. In the opening match of the tournament however, Basinas of Greece sent Ricardo the other way from a penalty, by side-footing it with his right foot, into the top right corner.

Both goalkeepers were appearing in their first major tournament.

Kickers (England):

1) David Beckham (aged 29) - Real Madrid (Spain)

72nd appearance, 13 goals, including 5 penalties, plus one in a shootout.

Converted England's third penalty of the 1998 shootout against Belgium, but missed the World Cup shootout against Argentina, because he had been sent off.

Scored the only goal from the penalty spot, when England beat Argentina in the 2002 World Cup, but missed his last two kicks for England, both in the European Championship (in Turkey and against France in Lisbon).

In his first season since leaving Manchester United, he scored 6 goals for Real Madrid in all competitions, plus 2 penalties for England.

Put Real Madrid ahead in the Copa del Rey Final in Barcelona, but Real Zaragoza beat them after extra time.

Captain and completed all four games in the tournament.

2) Michael Owen (aged 24) - Liverpool

60th appearance, his third-minute opener had been his 26th for England and his fourth of the season.

Scored in his fourth successive major tournament and his second successive quarter-final.

Scored 23 goals for club and country in the 2003-04 season, including 4 penalties for Liverpool in the Premiership as he completed his 7th successive season as the club's top scorer.

Started all four games in the tournament, but was substituted in the first two by Darius Vassell.

Converted England's second penalty in the shootout against Belgium in 1998 and the fourth against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup.

3) Frank Lampard (aged 26) - Chelsea

23rd appearance, the equaliser, five minutes from the end of extra time, was his 5th for England and his third of the tournament.

Scored 20 goals for club and country in the 2003-04 season, 2 of them penalties, as Chelsea finished as Premiership runners-up to Arsenal.

Started all four games in the tournament and completed all but the last six minutes against Croatia.

4) John Terry (aged 23) - Chelsea

11th appearance, no goals.

Scored 3 goals in all competitions, as captain of Chelsea, who finished the 2003-04 season as Premiership runners-up to Arsenal.

Missed the opening game with a damaged hamstring, but completed the remaining three matches.

5) Owen Hargreaves (aged 23) - Bayern München (Germany)

22nd appearance, no goals.

Scored twice in the 2003-04 season as Bayern München finished as Bundesliga runners-up to Werder Bremen.

An 81st minute substitute for Steven Gerrard, after replacing Paul Scholes in the latter stages of each of the first two games.

6) Ashley Cole (aged 23) - Arsenal

30th appearance, no goals.

Scored one goal in the 2003-04 season, in the Champions League, as Arsenal won the Premiership without losing a game.

Completed all four games in the tournament.

7) Darius Vassell (aged 24) - Aston Villa

22nd appearance, 6 goals, two of which came in the last warm-up game before the tournament.

Scored 12 goals for club and country in the 2003-04 season, 2 of which were penalties.

A 27th minute replacement for Wayne Rooney, his sixth successive substitute appearance for England, having replaced Michael Owen in the first two games and Rooney in the last two.

His kick was his last touch of the ball as an England international.

Beckham's first international penalty, against Belgium, was side-footed into the bottom left corner. with his right foot, as the Belgian goalkeeper dived the other way. His first tournament penalty, against Argentina in 2002, was hit hard and low, with his right foot, slightly to the right of centre, just missing the Argentinian 'keeper's left foot as he leaned slightly to the opposite side. Beckham's first European Championship penalty was in added time at the Stadium of Light in 2003, when the Turkish 'keeper jumped forward, off his line, before the kick was taken, but then failed to move as Beckham side-footed it into the bottom left-hand corner, with his right foot. This secured England's 2-0 victory. He then began the 2003-4 season by scoring from the spot in each of England's first two fixtures. At Portman Road, he gave England the lead, by again side-footing it low to the left, with his right foot, and it went in off the post, beyond the dive of the Croatian 'keeper. The following month, in the European Championship in Skopje, he scored England's winner, sending the Macedonian 'keeper the wrong way, despite once again, putting it into the bottom left corner, with the side of his right foot. In England's final qualifier, however, in İstanbul, Beckham missed an opportunity to put his country ahead, as he fired over the bar with his right foot, when his left foot appeared to slip, which caused him to lean too far to the left. Although the Turkish 'keeper had taken three steps off his line and a defender had also ventured into the box before the kick was taken, Beckham did not get the chance to take it again. His last penalty was just eleven nights earlier, in the opening match of the tournament, against France, at the opposite end of the same stadium. By scoring he would have put England into a two-goal lead, with 18 minutes left, against the reigning European Champions, chasing their twelfth successive win in the competition, but although he hit it, as usual, with the side of his right foot, whilst leaning heavily to the left, it only went to the left of centre, at medium height and Barthez guessed correctly to make a two-handed save. Then, in stoppage time, to rub salt in the wound, Zidane hit France's winner with a perfect penalty in the Beckham style.

Owen's penalty against Belgium was side-footed into the top left corner, with his right foot.  The goalkeeper was quick off his line but could not reach it, as it was too high for him. Against Argentina in the 1998 World Cup it was side-footed, with his right foot and it hit the left post, just below the angle between post and bar, but then deflected into the roof of the net, as the Argentinian goalkeeper dived the wrong way.

Kickers (Portugal):

1)       Deco (aged 26) - Porto

16th appearance, one goal, scored the previous season.

Scored Porto's second goal against Monaco in the Champions League Final in Gelsenkirchen, Nordrhein-Westfalen, as his club became European Champions.

Scored 4 goals in the 2003-04 season in all competitions as Porto also retained the SuperLiga Championship and reached the final of the Cup of Portugal.

Came on as a half-time substitute for Rui Costa in the opening game, but completed all three games since.

2)       Simao (aged 24) - Benfica

31st appearance, 4 goals.

Captain of Benfica, and scored their extra-time winner against Porto to win the Cup of Portugal in Oeiras, with his 17th goal of the season for club and country.

Scored 12 league goals, including 3 penalties, as Benfica finished as SuperLiga runners-up to Porto.

A 63rd minute substitute for Costinha, in his home stadium, after starting the first two games and being substituted on each occasion.

3)       Rui Costa (aged 32) - Milan (Italy)

93rd appearance, 26 goals, scored twice in the tournament.

His goal in the second half of extra time was his fourth international goal of the 2003-04 season.

Scored 3 goals for Milan as they won the Serie A Championship.

Replaced Miguel in the 79th minute, after playing the first half of the opening game and coming on as a substitute in the second against Russia, to score Portugal's second goal in the 89th minute.

4)       Cristiano Ronaldo (aged 19) - Manchester United

11th appearance, one goal, Portugal's consolation in added time against the eventual winners, Greece in the opening match of the tournament in Oporto.

Scored 7 goals in all competitions for club and country in the 2003-04 season, his first in English football and his first as an international.

Opened the scoring in the F.A. Cup Final at the Millennium Stadium as Manchester United went on to lift the trophy.

Completed his first game of the tournament, after appearing as a substitute in the first two games and starting against Spain.

5)       Maniche (aged 26) - Porto

12th appearance, one goal, the opening goal against Russia, the previous week, in the same stadium.

Scored 11 goals in the 2003-04 season for club and country as Porto won the Champions League, retained the SuperLiga Championship and reached the final of the Cup of Portugal.

Completed all four games in the tournament.

6)       Helder Postiga (aged 21) - Tottenham Hotspur

9th appearance, 4 goals.

Scored twice for Tottenham Hotspur in all competitions in his first season in English football, and twice for Portugal, including the headed equaliser, which took the game into extra time.

Made his first appearance in the tournament as a 75th minute substitute for captain, Figo and took eight minutes to score.

7)       Ricardo (aged 28) - Sporting Lisbon

29th appearance, goalkeeper.

Completed all four games in the tournament.

Extra Time

England had held on to their third-minute lead, only for Portugal to equalise with six minutes remaining, but England thought they'd snatched it at the death, until Sol Campbell's header in the last minute, was ruled out for a foul on Ricardo by John Terry. Campbell had also had a header disallowed because of a team-mate's foul on the goalkeeper, before England's last penalty shootout. Against Argentina, it had been Alan Shearer's elbow that had cost him a potential winner. These were the contrasting emotions as extra time began with the new 'silver goal' ruling, where one goal could shorten the extra period by half. However, neither side showed enough invention until Rui Costa's shot in the second extra period, but England fought back to level through Lampard with only five minutes remaining.

The Shootout (England first)

Beckham attempted to side-foot it, with his right foot, but sliced it and it flew over the bar, to the right, as Ricardo dived to the left. White dust flew up from the spot as he kicked it.

0-1 Deco side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height, and found the corner of the net to his right, as James dived the other way.

1-1 Owen shot, with his right foot, but did not connect with it cleanly and it went straight down the middle, along the ground, just as Ricardo dived out of the way, to the right, having stood in front of the line at the outset.

1-2 Simao stuttered in his run-up, causing James to briefly lean towards the left, but the 'keeper then re-adjusted, before diving the other way, as Simao firmly side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height, just left of centre, curling into the top corner.

2-2 Lampard shot, with his right foot, but, like Owen, appeared to hit the ball too high up and it went straight down the middle, slightly higher than Owen's, again just missing Ricardo's feet, as he dived to the right, having taken a couple of steps off his line and then leaning forward with his left shoulder, before the kick was taken.

Rui Costa side-footed, with his right foot, to the left of centre, but his shot went just over the bar, as James dived full-length underneath it. The kicker then turned and looked accusingly at the penalty spot.

3-2 Terry shot, with his right foot, absolutely straight down the middle, rising into the roof of the net, as Ricardo dived to the left, once again taking himself away from the ball.

3-3 Ronaldo stopped in his run-up, causing James to take three steps off his line, but then side-

footed, with his right foot, high towards the top right corner, just beyond the 'keeper's dive.

4-3 Hargreaves side-footed, with his right foot, at medium height, to the right of the 'keeper, who was rooted to the spot. Ricardo had complained before the kick that the ball was not placed correctly on the spot, after Hargreaves had carefully positioned it beyond the soft sandy area at the side of the mark, but the referee waved away his protest.

4-4 Maniche side-footed, with his right foot, into the bottom left corner, as James dived the other way.

5-4 Cole side-footed, with his left foot, low to the left of centre, as Ricardo dived the wrong way.

5-5 Postiga gently chipped, with his right foot, straight down the middle, as James took two steps off his line, before diving to the left, and then stood up again, before the ball had crossed the line.

Vassell shot, with his right foot, low to the right of centre, where Ricardo pushed it around the post with his left hand.

5-6 Ricardo shot, with his right foot, into the bottom left corner, beyond James' dive.

If Ricardo had missed, who would have taken England's eighth penalty?

England only had three defenders and a goalkeeper to choose from, whereas the Portuguese still had four outfield players left, one of whom was a striker (Nuno Gomes). The Neville brothers occasionally chipped in with goals for Manchester United, but neither had taken penalties. Sol Campbell had scored for England in the 2002 World Cup and had a header disallowed in the last minute. Both Campbell and Gary Neville had been on the field for England's last shootout in 1998, but were not called into action.

Why did England lose?

The state of the penalty spot caused no end of problems to both teams, but all seven of England's kicks were poor. They were lucky to stay in contention as long as they did, although, at the same time, their best kickers were undoubtedly more affected than their opponents, by the crumbling ground beneath their feet. Only Rui Costa, of the Portuguese side seemed to be put off by the spot, which, judging by the way several of the kicks failed to find their intended lines, must have sunk lower into the ground. Owen and Lampard, both competent dead-ball kickers, seemed unable to lift the ball to a safer height, and both were extremely fortunate that Ricardo dived out of the way. Beckham completely miscued his effort, which was surely due to the ball sinking into the ground. His miss in İstanbul, earlier in the season, had also been down to the pitch, but on that occasion, it was the area to the side of the spot, which caused his standing foot to slide. Beckham's normally immaculate kicking was entirely dependent on the pitch beneath him retaining its firmness. Without that, it became a spectacular failure, and a blow to an England team expecting to start the shootout on a secure footing. Incredibly, England stayed in contention. Their next three kicks were all straight down the middle and Ricardo was visibly frustrated, because he knew he would have probably saved them all, if he'd stood his ground. Ironically, the next two, from Hargreaves and Cole, both defensive players, which appeared to be confident kicks, were actually placed in saveable positions. Ricardo barely moved for Hargreaves', possibly with the previous three kicks in mind, and then went the wrong way for Cole's. Inevitably, he eventually got it right for Vassell's, who, arguably, placed his kick in the best position of the seven. It was certainly the nearest kick to the goalpost, but it was a little too low and Ricardo made the save. Portugal's kicks, apart from Rui Costa's, were all confidently placed and James was never in danger of saving any of them. Postiga's impudent chip enforced the home team's confidence and their goalkeeper, having been in the situation before, was determined to be the star of the show, dispatching the winning kick with an executioner's clinical strike.

Vassell never played again for England and it took him another year to take another penalty. It was in a Carling Cup tie for his new club, Manchester City, at Doncaster, but though he gave them the lead from the spot, in extra time, it was to bring back some horrible memories for Vassell, as he missed one of the kicks in the shootout and City were dumped out of the competition by the League One side.

Two years later, England met Portugal in another quarter-final. This time, it was the World Cup. The outcome was the same and the nightmare continued...