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  EURO 2004 Review


EURO 2004's magic moments
As UEFA EURO 2004 reaches its climax, picks out eleven moments that will be remembered from the Portuguese fiesta. Read our comments and see if you agree with our selection.
Saturday, 03 July 2004

Rooney record
Wayne Rooney illuminated the first few weeks of the competition and the first of his four goals made him the youngest ever scorer in European Championship finals at 18 years, seven months and 24 days old. The Everton striker rose to meet Michael Owen's cross in the 23rd minute of England's emphatic win over Switzerland in Coimbra. 

Vonlanthen steals it
Rooney's record did not last long, however, as Swiss starlet Johan Vonlanthen set a new standard when equalising against France. The striker was three months and four days younger than Rooney when he marked his third appearance and first start for his country by latching on to Ricardo Cabanas's pass before beating Fabien Barthez with a fine finish. 

Lus' long walk
Lus Figo's long walk off the pitch and his subsequent failure to reappear for the game's dramatic denouement against England seemed to mark the moment when Portugal's 'golden generation' faded from the scene. Rui Costa's goal belied that and Figo's virtuoso display against the Netherlands underlined it. But the Figo substitution was another way for Luiz Felipe Scolari to show that the team came first. 

Gloves off
When the match went down to the wire, the gloves came off. Literally in this case, as goalkeeper Ricardo dispensed with his to deny Darius Vassell before stepping up to beat opposite number David James with arguably the best penalty of the competition so far as Portugal overcame England. 

Cassano's agony and ecstasy
Agony supplanted ecstasy on Antonio Cassano's face within seconds as Italy exited EURO 2004. The Roma striker struck four minutes into stoppage time against Bulgaria to seemingly send Italy in the last eight, but the celebrations turned sour as news came in of Sweden and Denmark's 2-2 draw.

Kirichenko's swift strike
From a late, late strike to the quickest goal ever scored in a European Championship final round. The Greeks were caught napping as Russia scored twice in the opening 17 minutes with Dmitri Kirichenko's well-taken opener coming after just 71 seconds. 

Zidane spot on
It may have been a group game, but France edged past England thanks to penalties. The first was saved David Beckham's effort which was saved by Barthez with England holding a 1-0 lead; the second, mercilessly converted by Zinedine Zidane deep into additional time, gave France a 2-1 win. 

Boy wonder Robben
Netherlands flyer Arjen Robben provided plenty of highlights during EURO 2004. His substitution against the Czech Republic bemused Dutch fans and his teasing crosses befuddled defenders. But with the coolest of conversions in the penalty shoout-out against Sweden, the Chelsea winger showed composure beyond his years. 

Henry's header
French fears of a 2002 dj vu were realised as Thierry Henry's header flew centimetres wide of the target three minutes from time against Greece. After their 2002 World Cup nightmare in Korea/Japan, Les Bleus have now surrendered their European crown too. 

Latvia's lead
The Latvians showed they were not in Portugal to make up the numbers as they led the vaunted Czech Republic for most of their opening encounter in Aveiro. Igor Stepanovs' glorious pass released Andrejs Prohorenkovs and the winger timed his cross perfectly for the prolific Maris Verpakovskis to score from close range. The Czechs may have bounced back, but that goal and a goalless draw with Germany highlighted a memorable Latvian odyssey. 

Hellas and Dellas delight
Arguably the most stunning moment of the competition as the impressive Greek defender Traianos Dellas headed home the first "silver goal" in European Championship history. He said: "I realised when we were given the corner that exactly 14 minutes 36 seconds of extra time had been played. I said to myself that now we must do it. Someone heard me, and after that I scored." 



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