Hungary silence record crowd

A tournament record crowd of 72,800 gathered to watch the 1984 final in Moscow only for the home favourites to be defeated on penalties.

Kálmán Kovács (Hungary 1984)
©Bob Thomas/Getty Images

A tournament record crowd of 72,800 gathered to watch the 1984 UEFA European Under-18 Championship final in Moscow, but the home favourites were defeated on penalties in a tense final by Hungary.

There were two notable absentee from the finals. Holders France were eliminated by Spain 3-2 on aggregate, while inaugural champions West Germany were pipped by Italy in a three-team group. Of the previous winners only Scotland, who overcame Wales 8-2 on aggregate, were present in the USSR, joined by the beaten finalists from the past two years, Czechoslovakia.

The hosts were to spend the tournament in Moscow and began with a convincing 5-0 win against Luxembourg in Group C, as England were held 1-1 by East Germany. England had the same score against the USSR as East Germany defeated Luxembourg 4-0, and although England beat the group minnows 2-0, they departed unbeaten as the home nation struck the only goal against East Germany.

Group A in the city then known as Leningrad also proved a tight affair. The Republic of Ireland began well, beating Scotland 3-0, while Portugal overcame Greece 3-1. Scotland bounced back with a 3-1 win against Portugal on Matchday 2 as Ireland went top with a 1-1 draw against Greece. Ireland's 3-2 victory against Portugal took them into the semi-finals as Scotland and Greece drew 1-1.

Poland had a perfect record in Kyiv, defeating Italy, Bulgaria and Denmark by 1-0 scorelines in Group B. Bulgaria's 2-2 draw with Denmark and 1-0 win against Italy left them second, the Azzurri's 3-0 victory versus Denmark in their second game giving them third place.

Hungary came through Group D in Minsk, also winning every game without conceding a goal. On Matchday 1 they defeated Czechoslovakia 3-0, effectively ending their hopes of a third consecutive final, while Spain beat Switzerland 2-1, the same score by which the Swiss then lost to Czechoslovakia. Hungary's 2-0 win against Spain took them clear and they then scored the only goal in their match with the Swiss as Spain and Czechoslovakia drew 1-1. Spain went on to lose to Brazil in the 1985 FIFA U-20 World Cup final, also in the Soviet Union.

Poland and Hungary put their winning streaks on the line in the semi-finals, and the Hungarians prevailed 2-0 to earn a tie against the USSR, who defeated Ireland 2-1. Poland beat the Irish by the same score for third place, and not only did Hungary end the tournament without conceding a goal but, after a scoreless final at the Lenin Central Stadium, they took the title by winning 3-2 on penalties against the hosts.

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