Euro ’92 Final : Danes, Schmeichel Shock Defending World Champs


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High-flying Denmark defender KENT NIELSEN (3) of AGF Aarhus hacks the ball away from Germany striker KARL-HEINZ RIEDLE (11) of Italian Serie A side SS Lazio Rome, a two-goal hero for Deutschland in the semifinal match with host nation, and prevents a quality scoring opportunity in the second half of the 1992 UEFA European Championships Final in front of 37,800 spectators at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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Competing in the national colors for the very first time since re-unification, powerful GERMANY entered the 1992 UEFA European Championships as the planet’s premier football team having won the 1990 FIFA World Cup in Italy. DENMARK, on the other hand, had not even qualified for the final tournament hosted by Sweden, itself, after ending up a point behind Yugoslavia in their qualification group. But the brewing civil war left UEFA with absolutely no choice but to expel the ill-fated Yugoslavs and so, only 10 days ahead of the opening kick, the Danes were a late invitee to Euro ’92.

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Denmark goalkeeper PETER SCHEMICHEL (1) of English Premier League club Manchester United moves off his line to cut the angle and prepares to make a monster save on breaking Germany wingback STEFAN REUTER (2) of Italian Serie A side FC Juventus Turin early on in match at the Ullevi Stadium.
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The Germans started off well-enough in the Final at the Ullevi Stadium and went on the attack immediately but twice could not solve Denmark goalkeeper PETER SCHMEICHEL, the 28-year-old who had just completed his first season with English Premier League club Manchester United and was nothing short of an emerging international superstar.

And then, in the 18th minute, the Danes scored very much against the run of play to, from there on out, leave the normally-unflappable Germans with the frustrating task of chasing a game it was always gaining on but would never actually quite catch.

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Denmark midfielder JOHN JENSEN (7) of IF Broendby Copenhagen is mobbed by teammates after rocketing a right-footed shot straight past Germany World Cup-winning goalkeeper BODO ILGNER of 1.FC Koeln at the near post to give trainer Richard Moeller Nielsen’s side a surprise 18th minute lead. Following a crunching tackle from IF Broendby Copenhagen midfielder KIM VILFORT, the Borussia Dortmund striker FLEMMING POVLSEN had cut the ball back to the top of the box for the 27-year-old goal-scorer, who had failed to net even one time in 47 Bundesliga matches over the course of a season and a half for SV Hamburg only a couple years earlier. This signature strike also would help Jensen land a lucrative transfer to London-based FC Arsenal in the English Premier League following the tournament’s conclusion.
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Germany wingback and captain ANDREAS BREHME (3) of Italian Serie A club Inter Milan competes for the ball with Denmark right back JOHN SIVEBAEK (2) of French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco, the highly-experienced former Manchester United defender who would be signed by newly-promoted Italian Serie A outfit Delfino 1936 Pescara later that summer, during the Final of the 1992 UEFA European Championships at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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The Germans quickly regrouped and went in search of the equalizer but Schmeichel got down well and just barely saved with his fingertips from World Cup champion JUERGEN KLINSMANN of Italian Serie A club Inter Milan. And Bayern Munich midfielder STEFFEN EFFENBERG, who had created the chance for Klinsmann, then rifled a fierce drive that forced the Danish netminder to concede a corner. But the Danes had were still standing firm when the halftime whistle sounded.

The German siege continued unabated after the restart and one-time Aston Villa defender KENT NIELSEN was needed to make a stellar clearance at the back post on a dangerous cross from Klinsmann. The 27-year-old striker bound for French side AS Monaco in the months to follow, immediately then met the ensuing throw-in for a blistering header but Schmeichel, once again, saved the Danes. All the possession and opportunities would, indeed, amount to nothing.

This after the veteran Vilfort had collected a header in the offensive third and stormed forward to left-foot a precise, low shot in off Ilgner’s near post (again) in the 78th minute.

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Denmark veteran midfielder KIM VILFORT (18) of IF Broendby Copenhagen, the 29-year-old who had spent the 1985/86 football campaign in France with OSC Lille and would go on to finish his career with a respectable 77 caps, strikes for a second goal and effectively sinks the German battleship with but a dozen minutes remaining in the 1992 UEFA European Championships at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.
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The hands on the head of Denmark international BRIAN LAUDRUP (11) really say alot as the Bayern Munich striker comes to the realization that the Danes are actually going to defeat Germany in the Final of Euro ’92 while teammates congratulate the insurance goal-scorer Vilfort at the Ullevi Stadium.
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German players STEFAN REUTER (2) of Italian Serie A side FC Juventus Turin, ANDREAS THOM (13) of Bayer Leverkusen, THOMAS HELMER (14) of Borussia Dortmund, GUIDO BUCHWALD (6) of Vfb Stuttgart and THOMAS DOLL (10) of Italian Serie A club SS Lazio Rome react after the disappointing loss to Denmark in the Euro ’92 Final at Gothenburg’s Ullevi Stadium.
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Denmark’s Bundesliga strike force featuring BRIAN LAUDRUP (11) of Bayern Munich and FLEMMING POVLSEN (9) of Borussia Dortmund celebrate with tremendous pride for a victory which is to this day considered the country’s greatest sporting moment, ever, after the upstart Danes downed defending World Cup champion Germany 2-0 in the Final of the 1992 UEFA European Championships at the Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg, Sweden.

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