Czechoslovakia 2-2 West Germany (Extra Time 5-3 Penalty) Euro 1976 Final: Czechoslovakia’s First Championship

The UEFA Euro 1976 final between Czechoslovakia and West Germany at the Stadion Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade provided fans with a thrilling and emotional match. Czechoslovakia opened the scoring just 8 minutes in with a goal from Ján Švehlík. Not long after, Karol Dobiaš doubled the lead with a spectacular volley, beating legendary West German goalkeeper Sepp Maier.

However, West Germany refused to surrender. Within just 4 minutes, Dieter Müller reduced the deficit to 2-1 with a dangerous finish. As the match neared its end, Bernd Hölzenbein equalized with a timely 2-2 goal, taking the match into a tense extra time.

After 120 minutes of play, the score remained 2-2. For the first time in Euro history, the final had to be decided by a nerve-wracking penalty shootout. The first seven shots were all successful, until West Germany’s Uli Hoeneß missed, giving Czechoslovakia an opportunity.

And then the historic moment arrived. Antonín Panenka stepped up to take the decisive penalty. With supreme confidence and composure, Panenka gently lobbed the ball into the middle of the goal, while goalkeeper Sepp Maier dived to one side. The goal sealed a 5-3 victory, giving Czechoslovakia its first European championship.

Antonín Panenka’s audacious shot went down in history, becoming a symbol of creativity and courage in football. As Panenka himself shared after the match: “It was a dream come true. We had never won a title before, and to do so in front of our home fans was wonderful.”

Despite their defeat, the West German players showed class and a commendable spirit. As striker Horst Hrubesch commented: “We were disappointed with the loss, but we have to admit that Czechoslovakia played better that day.”

The UEFA Euro 1976 final remains a memorable milestone in European football history. It not only marked Czechoslovakia’s historic victory, but also demonstrated the power and appeal of football with outstanding performances and drama to the last minute.

⚽️ UEFA Euro 1960 to 2021 with 16 championships and 10 champion nations

⏩ Germany 3-time Euro champions (1972 – 1980 – 1996)

⏩ Spain 3-time Euro champions (1964 – 2008 – 2012)

⏩ France 2-time Euro champions (1984 – 2000)

⏩ Italy 2-time Euro champions (1968 – 2020)

⏩ Soviet Union Euro champions 1960

⏩ Czechoslovakia Euro champions 1976

⏩ Netherlands Euro champions 1988

⏩ Denmark Euro champions 1992

⏩ Greece Euro champions 2004

⏩ Portugal Euro champions 2016

With the participation of the strongest European teams according to the FIFA rankings as of 15/02/2024 such as France (2) – England (3) – Belgium (4) – Netherlands (6) – Portugal (7) – Spain (8) – Italy (9) – Croatia (10) and shining stars like Cristiano Ronaldo, Kylian Mbappé, Harry Kane, Romelu Lukaku to promising young talents, Euro 2024 promises to bring high-level and dramatic matches.

EURO 2024 will take place in Germany from June 14 to July 14, 2024 in 10 cities in Germany with 24 participating teams. The teams are divided into 6 groups to select the best and second-best teams in each group, and the 4 best third-placed teams will advance to the knockout stage. The opening match will be held on June 14 between host Germany and Scotland.

Detailed EURO 2024 groups:

⚽️ Group A: Germany, Scotland, Hungary, Switzerland

⚽️ Group B: Spain, Croatia, Italy, Albania

⚽️ Group C: England, Denmark, Serbia, Slovenia

⚽️ Group D: Poland, France, Netherlands, Austria

⚽️ Group E: Slovakia, Romania, Belgium, Ukraine

⚽️ Group F: Portugal, Turkey, Czech Republic, Georgia

Tags: Czechoslovakia, West Germany, Antonín Panenka, Ján Švehlík, Karol Dobiaš, Dieter Müller, Bernd Hölzenbein, UEFA Euro 1976

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