Euro Soccer Tournament
As in the 1996 and 2000 editions, the final tournament was contested by 16 teams – the hosts plus the 15 teams that successfully overcame the qualification round, which began in late 2002. Latvia secured their first participation in a major tournament after overcoming Turkey in the play-offs, while Greece returned to the European Championship after 24 years.
The tournament was rich in surprises: Germany, Spain and Italy were knocked out during the group stage; France, the defending champions, were eliminated in the quarter-finals by underdogs Greece; and the Portuguese team recovered from an opening defeat to reach the final, eliminating England and the Netherlands along the way. For the first time in a major football tournament, the final featured the same teams as the opening match, and like in their previous encounter, Portugal were beaten by Greece, with the winning goal scored by Angelos Charisteas. Greece's triumph was unexpected, considering that they had only qualified for two other major tournaments – Euro 1980 and the 1994 World Cup – and their opening match victory was their first in a final tournament stage.
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