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EURO 2016: 5 of the greatest comebacks in the history of tournament

With the EURO 2016 less than a week away from kickoff, let us look at the greatest comebacks in the history of UEFA European Championship.

france football
France won the Euro 2000 after two late goals in the final

There is an old saying in football that “it takes only a second to score a goal”, however, to score a goal or two or even more, after trailing with the clock ticking, in an almost impossible situation practically thought of, is what makes a remarkable comeback. With the EURO 2016 less than a week away from kickoff, let us look at the greatest comebacks in the history of UEFA European Championship till date.

It would be really inappropriate if we do not mention some honorable matches, before getting down to our final list. Sorry if your favorite game could not make it down to our list and we would be glad if you can recall any of these games or comment us few more matches that you can think of and share your views on the same. 

Honorable Mentions

France 3-2 Portugal(aet*) – 1984 semi-finals

Portugal 3-2 England – 2000 group stages

Yugoslavia 3-4 Spain – 2000 group stages

Netherlands 2-3 Czech Republic – 2004 group stages

*after extra time


5. Turkey 3-2 Czech Republic – 2008 group stages

Nihat Kahveci and his teammates celebrating the winner to complete a remarkable comeback and qualify for the quarters

While few might have seen this game or can recall the most recent of great comebacks in an EURO tournament, few would know that the most fascinating element of this game was a draw in this match would have taken it into penalties for a place in the quarter-finals, even though it was a group game.

Jan Koller, who replaced Milan Baros for this game, steered in a header in the first half to give Czechs the lead. With less than thirty minutes from the full-time whistle, Jaroslav Plasil slid in from the left off a Sionko’s cross from the right to make it 2-0. Arda Turan slotted in for Turkey with fifteen minutes to go to set up a climax.

Skipper Nihat then capitalized on a howler from Peter Cech, who dropped a cross and gave Turkey a chance with three minutes to play. 2-2! It seemed that the script was perfectly written for Nihat, who after two minutes, produced a moment of utter brilliance when he curled a right-footed shot in off the underside of the crossbar.

The comeback was complete and Nihat was the hero, leading from the front. Not to forget that the Turkey goalkeeper Demirel shoved Koller in the chest to get a red card in the injury time. Turkey went on to qualify for the quarter-finals against Croatia, beating them 3-1 on penalties.

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