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Legend
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France became the first team to win the European Championship as world champions when they snatched victory from the jaws of defeat against an Italian side who were seconds away from EURO 2000™ glory. Sylvain Wiltord struck right at the end of normal time to cancel out Marco Delvecchio's 55th-minute goal and then in injury time substitute David Trézéguet fired home the golden goal to give French their second European Championship title.

Delvecchio a surprise choice
France had brought back Youri Djorkaeff for Emmanuel Petit, who was ill, while Christophe Dugarry replaced Nicolas Anelka after recovering from a broken nose suffered early in the tournament. Meanwhile, the Italians sprung a surprise by including Marco Delvecchio in place of Filippo Inzaghi up front. France kicked off on a cloudy evening, in front of a colourful and noisy crowd, and they were immediately into their stride with a mazy run by Henry which was halted in the area. At the other end, Italy were quick to signal their intentions, with French keeper Fabien Barthez racing out of his area to deny the onrushing Delvecchio.

Henry hits the post
Both sides came out looking for the boost of an early goal, and the world champions, in all-blue, almost grabbed a shock lead after six minutes. Henry seemed to be too wide on the right to attempt a shot, but he hooked in a drive which Italian keeper Francesco Toldo must have thought was going wide, only for the ball to rebound off the woodwork. Italy, wearing an all-white change strip, were also looking extremely lively, and had a near-miss themselves two minutes later. Gianluca Pessotto set Stefano Fiore free down the right, and Delvecchio stretched but was unable to make full contact in a promising position at the far post.

Italy on the offensive
Italy were making a nonsense of their EURO 2000™ reputation for defensive football with some spirited attacking in the opening quarter-hour - enjoying 60 per cent of possession at that stage - and Demetrio Albertini curled a 20-yard free-kick narrowly over the bar. Didier Deschamps blasted wide in France's next reply of an entertaining opening. France threatened in the 22nd minute. Youri Djorkaeff swung over France's first corner from the left, Marcel Desailly got his head to the ball under pressure from Toldo, but saw his effort bounce narrowly past the post. As the half-hour approached, France began gaining a greater share of possession and Luigi Di Biagio was booked for a tackle from behind on Djorkaeff after 31 minutes.

Toldo foils Djorkaeff
Italy appeared to be retreating into their defensive shell, and France came desperately close to breaking through six minutes from the interval. The livewire Henry weaved into the penalty area and drove the ball goalwards, Djorkaeff seized possession and turned to fire in a low hot, but Toldo went down athletically to make a fine point-blank stop. Soon afterwards, Fabio Cannavaro became the second Italian booked as he scythed down Henry. However, the free kick came to nothing, and an interesting first half ended in stalemate.

France start brightly
France made the more enterprising start to the second period, with Henry almost played in by a Zidane pass only for Cannavaro to intervene. A great run down the left after 49 minutes took him to the by-line, but Zidane inside was inches away from making contact with his precise centre. Italy were looking short of invention and innovation and it was no great surprise when Alessandro Del Piero was brought in to replace Fiore after 53 minutes. Within seconds Italy came close to an opener, as Laurent Blanc was forced to head desperately behind from a dangerous Maldini cross. Italy did take the lead after 55 minutes with a move of stunning simplicity. Totto's adroit back-heel released Pessotto down the right and his cross eluded Desailly, allowing Delvecchio to volley home from point-blank range. It was the AS Roma striker's first goal for his country in his sixth appearance after not having appeared in any of Italy's qualifying matches.

France up tempo
Italy should have doubled that advantage after 59 minutes, as Totti sent Del Piero clear, but the Juventus FC player pulled his shot across the face of the goal. France had brought on Sylvain Wiltord to bolster their attack, but it was a defender who almost got them back in the game as Lilian Thuram drew a fine save from Toldo, heading powerfully from Zidane's cross. Then Wiltord's shot was saved by Toldo's feet in the 62nd minute after Zidane had unlocked the Italian defence: the world champions were fighting back. However, Toldo was again in fantastic form, and he saved with his legs from Henry just as the striker seemed set to score from another Zidane cross. France's need to attack was leaving them vulnerable to breaks and Delvecchio volleyed just wide after 69 minutes after an excellent Pessotto pass.

Wiltord strikes
France struggled to put an end product to their attacking endeavour despite the introduction of a third striker in David Trézéguet. Meanwhile, Italy missed another great chance to seal the title when Del Piero shot straight at Barthez when clean through five minutes from time. They were made to play for that profligacy in the most cruel manner possible as Wiltord broke free on the left of the penalty area in injury time and crashed a low drive past Toldo to send the final into extra-time.

Toldo bloodied
France, buoyed by their late reprieve, began extra-time on the offensive, with Henry shooting straight at Toldo after 93 minutes. Seconds later, Barthez dashed from his goal to fly-kick clear as Del Piero threatened. Barthez's opposite number Toldo needed treatment after receiving a bloodied nose from Trézéguet. The French forward followed up a deflected Robert Pires' shot that the 'keeper did well to hold.

Trézéguet hits the winner
Given the stakes both sides were being admirably attack-minded. Del Piero was again off target after 99 minutes while his club colleague Zidane curled a free-kick over two minutes later. The increasingly influential Zidane then had a shot deflected wide from Pires cross. That was the source for the golden goal winner after 103 minutes as he got down the left and pulled the ball back for Trézéguet, who crashed a fabulous first-time shot into the roof of the net. With the French fans exultant, Didier Deschamps lifted the Henri Delaunay Trophy.
 
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