Eight Euro Semis for England
Friday, 19 June, 2009
We reflect on each of those last-four encounters.
England Under-21s’ 2-0 win against Spain in Gothenburg last night took them through to the UEFA Championship Semi-Finals for the eighth time in history.
Matches at Under-21 level date back to 1976 and England teams made it through to Europe’s last four in 1978, 1980, 1982, 1984, 1986, 1988 and 2007. We were European Champions twice under Dave Sexton, beating West Germany 5-4 on aggregate in the 1982 Final and Spain 3-0 on aggregate two years later.
Here are details of those previous seven Semi-Finals…
First leg: Yugoslavia 2-1 England
Second leg: England 1-1 Yugoslavia
Andy King equalised at 1-1 in the first leg in Novi Sad, but a controversial Yugoslav goal three minutes from time robbed England of a deserved draw. An 84th-minute Steve Sims effort at Maine Road wasn’t enough to take England through to the Final.
First leg: England 1-2 East Germany
Second leg: East Germany 1-0 England
England played a good deal of attractive football in the first leg at Bramall Lane but went down to two breakaway goals, despite snatching an 85th-minute remaining through Justin Fashanu. In Jena they lost out to a 25-yarder that was deflected past Chris Woods.
First leg: Scotland 0-1 England
Second leg: England 1-1 Scotland
Garry Thompson scored the 39th-minute goal that won the first leg at Hampden Park, England putting in an excellent defensive display. They were a little less convincing at Maine Road, scraping through to the Final after Adrian Heath’s equaliser on the night.
First leg: England 3-1 Italy
Second leg: Italy 1-0 England
Despite missing a handful of regulars due to club calls, England achieved a useful first-leg lead at Maine Road with goals from Mark Chamberlain, Mich D’Avray and Mel Sterland (penalty). They defended doggedly in Florence, conceding just one goal.
First leg: Italy 2-0 England
Second leg: England 1-1 Italy
An inexperienced England side with six new caps was typically resilient in the first leg in Pisa. They lost 0-2, but were still in with a chance. The second leg, a Wednesday afternoon kick-off in Swindon, saw Vialli equalise Stewart Robson’s volley two minutes from time.
First leg: France 4-2 England
Second leg: England 2-2 France
Eric Cantona, already a full international, starred in the first leg in Besancon. Gary Parker and Paul Stewart (penalty) kept English hopes alive. On a wet evening at Highbury a thumping shot by Paul Gascoigne and a Silvestre own goal weren’t enough for England.
Holland 1-1 England (Holland won 13-12 on kicks from the penalty mark)
With the Semi-Finals now part of a tournament format, Leroy Lita gave England a 39th-minute lead in Heerenveen. Rigters equalised in the last few moments of normal time and Holland’s 13th successful spot-kick in the shootout put out the battle-worn Lions.