This was the first time in the history of the European Championship where the opening match of the tournament would also be repeated in the final.

Portuguese fans were almost unanimously supporting Greece in the semi-final, wanting not only to avoid the explosive Czechs, but also to have an opportunity to exact revenge for their team’s shock defeat to Greece in the opener.

Otto Rehhagel’s side would be without Giorgos Karagounis who was suspended due to an accumulation of yellow cards. Demis Nikolaidis was also ruled out through injury.

Estadio da Luz, SL Benfica’s 65,000-capacity, soccer stadium, designed by Damon Lavelle / Image: via sacyrinfraestructuras.com

Over 62,000 fans packed the Estadio da Luz in Lisbon, of which 12,000 were cheering Greece on. Most observers were convinced that Greece could not possibly defeat the hosts for a second time. With their momentum and home field advantage, Portugal were expected to claim their first-ever major title.

Greece won the final 1–0, defying odds of 80–1 from the beginning of the tournament, with Angelos Charisteas scoring the winning goal in the 57th minute.


Featured Image: Greece wins the Euro Cup, one of the greatest achievements in Greek sporting history / Image: eurokinissi

Websites: uefa.com, epo.gr



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