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Last Updated: Friday, 21 May, 2004, 12:23 GMT 13:23 UK
Portugal eye final place
EURO HISTORY
Nuno Gomes of Portugal is sent off by referee Gunter Benko during the Euro 2004 semi-final against France
Best performance:
Semi-finalists 1984, 2000
Recent performances:
1980 Did not qualify 1984 SF 1988 Did not qualify
1992 Did not qualify
1996 QF 2000 SF
On the three occasions Portugal have reached the European Championship the 2004 hosts have always managed to reach the knockout rounds of the competition.

In 1984 Portual got to the last four, before bowing out against hosts France in one of the tournament's great games.

France led for most of the match but Rui Jordao equalised and then put Portugal ahead 2-1 in extra-time.

Jean-Francois Domergue's second goal of the game drew France level and Michel Platini grabbed a late winner.

In 1996, Portugal reached the last eight and were favourites to beat the Czech Republic, but a sublime chip from Karel Poborsky gave the Czechs a surprise win.

Four years ago at Euro 2000, Portugal produced some superb football, including a memorable 3-2 win over England having trailed 2-0 in their opening group game.

Humberto Coelho's side also thumped Germany 3-0 and then beat Turkey in the quarter-finals to reach the last four, only to again come unstuck against France in a controversial match.

Former Liverpool defender Abel Xavier had handled a shot from Sylvain Wiltord, and although referee Gunter Benko failed to spot the offence, his assistant flagged for a penalty.

The award incensed the Portugal players. Benko, after being jostled, red-carded Nuno Gomes.

Gomes was hero turned villain, having put Portugal ahead in the first half, before Thierry Henry's second-half equaliser.

Zidane confidently put the penalty into the top left corner, giving goalkeeper Vitor Baia no chance, to hand France victory with a golden goal.

In the game's aftermath Uefa handed Xavier, Gomes and Pablo Bento lengthy European bans for their intimidation of Benko.





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