European Championship Finals in Holland and Belgium -- First round fixtures.

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European Leagues: European Cups: Euro 2000 -- Match 01


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First Round

  • Sat. 10th June: (Group B)
    Game 01 Belgium - Sweden
    King Baudouin stadium, Brussels (20:45)

belgium.gif (1076 bytes)
Belgium

Opening Game

sweden.gif (1082 bytes)
Sweden

At last the show gets on the road, as co-hosts Belgium entertain Sweden in Brussels.

For those who like statistics, when France opened as hosts in 1984 they beat Denmark 1-0 and went on to conquer Spain in the final.

The last three opening games have all been 1-1 draws, with the hosts going out at the semi-final stage. In 1988 Germany drew the opening match with Italy 1-1, in Dusseldorf; Sweden drew 1-1 with France in Stockholm, in 1992; and England had to settle with 1-1 against Switzerland, in 1996.

If this game ends in a 1-1 draw and Belgium get defeated in the semi-finals, there's always Holland waiting to claim the prize for the low countries.

Sweden were unbeaten in qualifying and finished above England in Group 5.

Recent form:
Belgium:
Holland 5-5
Morocco 4-0
England 1-2
Italy 3-1
Portugal 1-1
Holland 2-2
Norway 2-0
Denmark 2-2
Sweden:
Poland 2-0
(Qual)
South Africa 0-1
Denmark 1-0
(Nordic Cup -- in Spain)
Norway 1-1
(Nordic Cup -- in Spain)
Italy 0-1
Austria 1-1
Denmark 1-0
Spain 1-1

Preview:
The pressure is on Belgian coach, Robert Waseige, to make sure his side get off to a winning start. While a draw is not a calamity, Belgium will be looking to strike partners Branko Strupar and Emile Mpenza to give the home side a positive start.

Sweden could do with Celtic's Henrik Larsson up front, who has impressed in training after he broke his leg in a UEFA Cup-tie in Lyon, but Sweden's joint coach, Lars Lagerback, is keeping his starting line-up under wraps until just before kick-off.

Belgian Team:
1-Filip De Wilde
2-Eric Deflandre, 4-Lorenzo Staelens, 3-Joos Valgaeren, 17-Philippe Leonard
11-Gert Verheyen, 7-Marc Wilmots, 6-Yves Vanderhaeghe, 8-Bart Goor
10-Branko Strupar, 9-Emile Mpenza.

Swedish Team:
1-Magnus Hedman
2-Roland Nilsson, 3-Patrik Anderson, 4-Joakim Bjorklund, 14-Olof Mellberg
11-Niclas Alexandersson, 15-Daniel Andersson, 17-Johan Mjallby, 9-Fredrik Ljungberg
19-Kennet Andersson, 10-Jorgen Petterson.

Referee: Markus Mark (Germany).

Goals:
1-0 -- Bart Goor steals the ball from a sleepy Nilsson and wastes no time in burrying the first goal of Euro2000; in the 43rd minute.

2-0 -- Mpenza scores straight from the kick-off -- 46mins.

2-1 -- Johan Mjallby robs De Wilde and slips the ball in an open net -- 53mins.

Result: Belgium 2 -- Sweden 1
The first points of the tournament go to Belgium, in what was a highly entertaining opening game played at electrifying pace, in front of both the Belgian and Dutch Royal Families.

Sweden's Henrik Larsson came on for the second-half, but the Swedes had too much to do once Mpenza scored straight from the restart. Tired legs and frustration led to a few yellow cards and a sending-off for Sweden's captain, Patrik Andersson.

The closing minutes of the game were rather messy although there was a touch of comical relief. A concussed Verheyen was replaced by Belgian team-mate, Jacky Peters. Verheyen didn't realise that he'd been substituted and tried to enter the play again shortly after.

Man of the Match: Gert Verheyen.

Tournament Index -- Group Tables -- Qualifying Round -- Live -- Forum

 

Sun. 11th June: (Group B)
Game 02 Turkey - Italy (1-2)

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