Classic Match – Euro ’96 Quarter Final

This entry was posted on Wednesday, June 20th, 2012

Villa Park – Czech Republic 1 Portugal 0

Ahead of their upcoming meeting in the Stadion Narodowy, it would be rude not to cast our minds back to the two nations’ clash at the same stage in EURO 96. Enter Karel Poborsky.

The 80/1 outsiders reached the semi thanks to an extraordinary goal from Poborsky, the technical likes of which hasn’t been seen before or since. A yard inside the penalty area, the Czech winger scooped the football up and over Vitor Baia. Even in a tournament deluged with great goals (such as these from Gascoigne and Suker), this topped the lot.

Petr Kouba had earlier kept the Czechs in the tie, saving a header from Fernando Couto and a close-range shot by Ricardo Sa Pinto, who was set up brilliantly by Joao Pinto. Despite Radoslav Latal’s dismissal eight minutes from time, the ‘golden generation’ Portugal of Couto, Figo, Paulo Sousa and Rui Costa couldn’t equalise, although a late George Cadete near-miss provided a scare.

Sir Alex was so impressed by the man with the flowing locks that he splashed out to bring him to Old Trafford. He clearly didn’t know that a certain D Beckham was quite handy down the right, and Poborsky’s United career lasted just 32 matches.

If you fancy a repeat scoreline tomorrow night, Betfair offer a lovely 14.5. Fergie has probably learnt his lesson however – after another couple of disasters with Jordi and Kleberson, he doesn’t sign players on the back of a good tournament.

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