Czech Republic v Italy, 14 June 1996

Score2-1 to Czech Republic
RefereeAntonio Jesus Lopez Nieto
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group C
VenueAnfield
Attendance37,320
Kick-off: 7.30pm Italy's hopes of following up on their run to the 1994 FIFA World Cup final were dealt a savage blow as the Czech Republic capitalised on Luigi Apolloni's first-half dismissal. Pavel Nedvěd gave the Czechs a dream start to help forget their 2-0 defeat by Germany five days earlier, yet Enrico Chiesa restored parity for the Azzurri. But soon after Apolloni's moment of madness Radek Bejbl restored his side's advantage, which they clung on to despite a bold second-half onslaught from Arrigo Sacchi's men. With Italy having completed a 2-1 opening match defeat of Russia, Sacchi opted to rest four players with an eye on tougher hurdles to come. Out went Alessandro Del Piero, Angelo Di Livio, Gianfranco Zola and Pierluigi Casiraghi, scorer of both goals against Russia; in came Fabrizio Ravanelli, Chiesa, Roberto Donadoni and Dino Baggio. Sacchi soon had cause to question his wisdom when Karel Poborský's searching cross from the right provided Nedvěd, 23, with his first international goal. That said, Petr Kouba had already been called upon to deny Chiesa, and the equaliser arrived on 18 minutes; it was a classic Italy break, culminating in Chiesa dispatching Diego Fuser's pass with a low finish. Yet the match, and Italy's tournament, turned on Apolloni's aberration. Already in the book for a trip on Pavel Kuka, the Parma FC defender went through the back of the striker deep into the Czech half and was shown a second yellow card. The setback was soon compounded by Bejbl, meeting Kuka's cross from the right with a well-directed volley. Italy had a mountain to climb and, creditably, almost scaled it, dominating the second period against numerically superior opponents. Chiesa and Casiraghi both forced fine saves from Kouba and the Azzurri almost equalised at the death when Casiraghi controlled Zola's pass on his chest and turned his marker only to blaze over. He fell on his back holding his face; Zola knelt in despair: it was the third minute of added time.

2  Czech Republic

Manager: Dusan Uhrin

1  Italy

Manager: Arrigo Sacchi

Goals:

Pavel Nedvěd 5 G
Radek Bejbl 35 G

Goals:

Enrico Chiesa 18 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Petr Kouba
Defender Michal Horňák
Defender Miroslav Kadlec (captain)
Defender Jan Suchopárek
Midfielder Radek Bejbl
Midfielder Patrik Berger
Midfielder Radoslav Látal
Midfielder Pavel Nedvěd
Midfielder Jiří Němec
Midfielder Karel Poborský
Forward Pavel Kuka

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Angelo Peruzzi
Defender Luigi Apolloni
Defender Paolo Maldini (captain)
Defender Roberto Mussi
Midfielder Demetrio Albertini
Midfielder Dino Baggio
Midfielder Roberto Donadoni
Midfielder Diego Fuser
Forward Enrico Chiesa

Substitutions:

Vladimír Smicer for Patrik Berger 64
Václav Němeček for Radoslav Látal 88

Substitutions:

Amedeo Carboni for Dino Baggio 39
Pierluigi Casiraghi for Fabrizio Ravanelli 58
Gianfranco Zola for Enrico Chiesa 78

Cards:

Jan Suchopárek 20 Y
Radoslav Látal 50 Y
Pavel Kuka 59 Y
Miroslav Kadlec 90 Y

Cards:

Luigi Apolloni 28 R
Diego Fuser 90 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Ladislav Maier
Goalkeeper Pavel Srníček
Defender Martin Kotulek
Defender Luboš Kubík
Defender Karel Rada
Midfielder Martin Frýdek
Midfielder Václav Němeček
Midfielder Pavel Novotny
Midfielder Vladimír Smicer
Forward Radek Drulák
Forward Milan Kerbr

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Luca Bucci
Goalkeeper Francesco Toldo
Defender Amedeo Carboni
Defender Alessandro Nesta
Midfielder Angelo Di Livio
Midfielder Roberto Di Matteo
Midfielder Fabio Rossitto
Forward Gianfranco Zola