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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 12:31 GMT 13:31 UK
Italy seek Euro revenge
Despair for Paolo Maldini after Italy's defeat to France in the Euro 2000 final
Best performance:
Winners 1968
Recent performances:
1980 SF 1984 Did not qualify 1988 SF 1992 Did not qualify 1996 R1 2000 Runners-up
Italy have reached two European Championship finals, beating Yugoslavia in 1968, but losing to France in 2000 to David Trezeguet's golden goal.

The Italians reached the 1968 final on the toss of a coin after drawing with the Soviet Union in the semi-finals.

In the final Dragan Dzajic showed great skill for Yugoslavia to beat Dino Zoff for the first goal before half-time.

Angelo Domenghini's 80th-minute equaliser brought extra-time, but with no more goals a replay was arranged.

Italy fielded a much-changed line-up in the second match and one of the big names missing from the original final was first on the scoresheet.

Luigi Riva - guilty of several glaring misses - atoned with a left-footed drive and Pietro Anastasi's volley put the replay beyond Yugoslavia's reach.

Four years ago Italy muscled their way to the Euro 2000 final after a typical backs-to-the-wall semi-final performance against joint hosts Holland.

Italy had to play for over an hour with ten men following Gianluca Zambrotta's first-half red card, but won through thanks to Francesco Toldo's superb goalkeeping performance and Dutch profligacy in front of goal.

The Italian goalkeeper saved Frank de Boer's first-half penalty, while Patrick Kluivert hit the post with a second-half spot-kick.

Holland were to also miss three penalties in the shoot-out.

In the final against France, Italy's luck ran out as substitute Trezeguet gave Roger Lemerre's side a 2-1 win with a golden goal in the 103rd minute.

Trezeguet's coup de grace was a cruel blow for Italy, who had led led deep into injury time in Rotterdam's De Kuip stadium after Alessandro Delvecchio put them ahead early in the second half.

But as the massed ranks of Italian defenders formed in front of Toldo, substitute Sylvain Wiltord rescued France with an equaliser four minutes into injury time.

Italian coach Zoff, who had been part of the 1968 winning team, resigned after the tournament and was replaced by Giovanni Trapattoni.

Links to more Italy stories



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