Russia v Czech Republic, 19 June 1996

Score3-3
RefereeAnders Frisk
CompetitionUEFA European Championship Finals Group C
VenueAnfield
Attendance21,128
Kick-off: 7.30pm Substitute Vladimír Šmicer struck two minutes from time to cap an extraordinary game and send the Czech Republic through to the quarter-finals by the skin of their teeth. Goals from Jan Suchopárek and Pavel Kuka sent Dušan Uhrin's team racing into a two-goal lead at Anfield, but Russia – still not mathematically out of contention for second spot in Group C – launched a superb fightback. Aleksandr Mostovoi and Omari Tetradze drew them level soon after the interval before Vladimir Beschastnykh put them in front with five minutes left. With Italy drawing 0-0 against Germany, it was set to be the Azzurri who went through alongside Berti Vogts' men; then came Šmicer's dramatic intervention. That such a late rescue act was required looked hugely unlikely at half-time. Suchoparek eased Czech nerves just five minutes in when he headed in a corner, with Kuka pouncing on Stanislav Cherchesov's hesitation to double their advantage 19 minutes. Their lead could have been insurmountable had they not also been twice denied by the woodwork prior to Russia's most unexpected comeback. Mostovoi's header and Tetradze's close-range shot made it 2-2 before the Czechs were again rebuffed by the frame of Cherchesov's goal. Indeed, their luck seemed to have run out once and for all when Beschastnykh's tremendous long shot put them behind and Italy in pole position. But the seesaw still had time to swing once more, Šmicer latching on to Luboš Kubík's pass and finishing into the bottom corner for his first international goal; it was unlikely he would ever score a more important one.

3  Russia

Manager: Oleg Romantsev

3  Czech Republic

Manager: Dusan Uhrin

Goals:

Alexandr Mostovoi 48 G
Omari Tetradze 52 G
Vladimir Beschastnykh 85 G

Goals:

Jan Suchopárek 6 G
Pavel Kuka 19 G
Vladimir Smicer 88 G

Starting lineup:

Goalkeeper Stanisav Cherchesov
Defender Youri Nikiforov
Defender Omari Tetradze
Midfielder Valery Karpin (captain)
Midfielder Dmitri Khokhlov
Midfielder Vladislav Radimov
Midfielder Ilia Tsymbalar
Midfielder Igor Yanovski
Forward Igor Kolyvanov
Forward Igor Simutenkov

Starting lineup:

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

Substitutions:

Vladimir Beschastnykh for Igor Kolyvanov 46
Alexandr Mostovoi for Igor Simutenkov 46
Igor Shalimov for Ilia Tsymbalar 67

Substitutions:

Vladimir Smicer for Pavel Kuka 68
Václav Němeček for Patrik Berger 90

Cards:

Youri Nikiforov 5 Y
Vladislav Radimov 26 Y
Ilia Tsymbalar 29 Y
Igor Yanovski 61 Y

Cards:

Pavel Nedved 60 Y
Jiří Němec 77 Y

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Dimitri Kharine
Goalkeeper Sergei Ovchinnikov
Midfielder Andrei Kanchelskis
Midfielder Alexandr Mostovoi
Midfielder Igor Shalimov

On the bench:

Goalkeeper Ladislav Maier
Goalkeeper Pavel Srníček
Defender Miroslav Kadlec
Defender Martin Kotulek
Defender Karel Rada
Midfielder Martin Frýdek
Midfielder Václav Němeček
Midfielder Pavel Novotny
Midfielder Vladimir Smicer
Forward Radek Drulák
Forward Milan Kerbr