Scotland v England
European Championships 1996
Saturday 15th June 1996
(Old) Wembley Stadium, London
Set the Scene
When the draw was made for Euro 96 it seemed almost inevitable that England and Scotland would be drawn in the same group and sure enough that was the case. They were drawn alongside Switzerland and Netherlands in Group A. After 6 Months of anticipation the Tournament got underway and both sides were held to opening draws with England disappointing in a 1-1 draw with Switzerland and Scotland gaining credit for a 0-0 draw with the Dutch. The scene was set for a memorable encounter at Wembley.
Terry Venables was under a little bit of pressure coming into this game as his side had struggled in the opening game and also were still facing the media backlash of a pre tournament tour of Hong Kong which included the now infamous dentists chair !!! Venables stuck to his guns however and named the same side that had started the opening game with Switzerland. Scotland were also unchanged and had a team full of Premier League Players.
It was Scotland who were the better side in the first half and they came closest to scoring when a Gordon Durie head flashed wide of David Seaman’s goal. The main England threat came from Steve McManaman but England struggled to create any clear cut chances in the opening 45 Minutes and it was Scotland who headed in at half time much the happier.
It was a mark of respect to Scotland that Venables made a change at half time and tinkered with the formation which was to have a positve affect. Jamie Redknapp was brought into the middle of Midfield in place of Stuart Pearce and the Liverpool man had arguably his best game in an England shirt despite suffering a Broken Ankle late on. England dominated the ball in the opening exhanges of the second half and they took the lead on 53 Minutes when clever play in midfield allowed Gary Neville to overlap and he fired in a pin point cross that Alan Shearer headed home at the back post which sent Wembley into raptures.
England then sat back and allowed Scotland to get a foothold in the game and they were unfortunate not to be on level terms after 66 Minutes when Gordon Durie met a Stuart McCall cross and somehow Seaman managed to claw the ball around the post when it looked destined to ripple the net. Scotland had an even bigger chance after 78 minutes when Durie was brought down in the box by Tony Adams and the Italian Referee pointed to the spot. Gary McAllister stepped up but his fierce penalty was parried away by Seaman and it looked like it wasnt to be Scotlands day. Replays showed the ball moved just before McAllister was about to strike it.
Just a minute later England made the game safe and it was to be a moment that would live on for years to come. A long ball from Seaman was brought down by Sheringham who played out wide to Anderton who spotted the forward run of Gascoigne and the Rangers man flicked the ball over a bamboozled Colin Hendry and as the ball dropped he volleyed past his club team mate Andy Goram and celebrated with a “Dentist Chair” on the Wembley Turf. The game petered out after that moment of brilliance and England ran out 2-0 Winners but it could have been so so different if a couple of moment had gone the way of the Scots.
Goram, Calderwood, Hendry, Boyd, McKimmie, McKinlay, McCall, McAllister (c), Collins, Durie, Spencer
Used Subs :McCoist, Burley, Jess
Seaman, Neville, Adams (c), Pearce, Southgate, Ince, Anderton, Gascoigne, McManaman, Sheringham, Shearer
Used Subs : Redknapp, Stone, Campbell