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BBC Radio 5 Live's Alan Green
"Arguably the best game the European Championship has ever seen."
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Wednesday, 21 June, 2000, 23:23 GMT 00:23 UK
Pundits purr over Spanish fightback
Spanish fans
Unbelievable! The tension is just too much for Spanish fans
Spain and Yugoslavia produced a stunning show in Bruges to leave football pundits across the continent open mouthed in admiration.

Not least BBC Radio 5 Live commentator Alan Green. He described it as: "arguably the greatest game the Europoean Championships have ever seen".



It is one of the great comebacks of all time in international football and nobody in the stadium can believe it

BBC TV commentator John Motson
Spain trailed 3-2 against Yugoslavia going into injury time of an incredible tie, with only a win enough to see them through due to Norway's point against Slovenia.

But the drama had not even started.

A Gaizka Mendieta penalty seemed too little too late, but the Spanish armada sailed forward again deep into stoppage time and Alfonso slotted home a dramatic winner to stun Yugoslavia.

Vujadin Boskov's side had themselves pulled off a remarkable comeback in their opening game against Slovenia, fighting back from 3-0 down to snatch a point having already had a player sent off.


Spain celebrate
Spain celebrate their incredible last-gasp win
But the Spanish fightback eclipsed even that - and had the pundits drooling.

Veteran BBC commentator John Motson was among them.

Motson almost dropped his microphone in the excitement but managed to gasp: "Events here have conspired to produce something you could not have dreamed up.

"It is one of the great comebacks of all time in international football and nobody in the stadium can believe it."

Motson added breathlessly: "You only see this once in a while, but when you do it's so, so special."


Yugoslavia fans
Yugoslavia fans acknowledge their team's part in a remarkable game
Mark Lawrenson, alongside Motson in the commentary box in Bruges, thought he had seen everything the game had to offer. But even he was moved to say: "I have never witnessed anything like this in my life."

Republic of Ireland manager Mick McCarthy, part of the BBC summary team, was also rubbing his eyes in disbelief.

"They say in the FA Cup that one team has it's name on the cup. I think this trophy has something written in Spanish on it," McCarthy said.



I have never witnessed anything like this in my life

Mark Lawrenson
Alan Green was in the commentary box the night Manchester United snatched the European Cup with two injury time goals against Bayern Munich.

"Spain did a Manchester United, unbelievably scoring twice in extra time," he mused.

Ironic then that United's last-gasp hero that night was on the receiving end this time.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and his Norwegian team-mates watched the drama unfold on a big screen in Arnhem, believing the point they had just secured against Slovenia would be enough to carry them to the quarter finals.

Like Green and the rest of the BBC team, the Norwegians could not believe what they were seeing either.

But try telling them this was the greatest game of all time.

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See also:

21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Camacho calm after heroic display
21 Jun 00 | Euro2000
Spain v Yugoslavia clockwatch
21 Jun 00 | Photo Gallery
Spain v Yugoslavia in pictures
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