Matchday 9 – Tuesday, 18th June 1996 – Group A

Hello and welcome to the evening matches. After the drama of the afternoon when Spain scored a late goal to book their place along with France into the Quarter-Finals. Attention now turns to Group A. England and Scotland’s group.

Here’s how the group stands:

1 England 2 1 1 0 3 1 2 4
2 Netherlands 2 1 1 0 2 0 2 4
3 Scotland 2 0 1 1 0 2 -2 1
4 Switzerland 2 0 1 1 1 3 -2 1


At Wembley England take on the Netherlands. A draw is enough for both teams, so will we get a boring game much like the two countries played out in Italia ’90? Or will either side look to put a marker down for rounds to come?

At Villa Park, Scotland take on Switzerland. This is the opposite of the position England and Netherlands are in. A draw is not enough for either side, so they have to go all out for the win or go home. But not just any win. Both countries have to overturn a 4-goal deficit on goal difference.

So, they’ll hope for goals at Wembley, whilst trying to bang them in themselves. Not easy when they’ve scored one between them so far. Switzerland’s and Scotland’s opening two matches have been a tale of two penalties. Switzerland scored theirs, Scotland missed theirs.

So now to the team news


Both teams were unchanged. Obviously the Dutch camp was rocked when Edgar Davids was sent home. Surely this must’ve affected the morale within the squad. England will be buoyed by their win over Scotland on Saturday, although they’re yet to hit top form. Could that happen tonight?


Scotland manager, Craig Brown, has made two changes from the side which lost at Wembley. Rangers striker, Ally McCoist comes in up front for John Spencer of Chelsea. McCoist came on as a sub for Spencer against England. Chelsea’s Craig Burley comes in for Stewart McKimmie of Aberdeen.

Switzerland manager, Artur Jorge, also made two changes. Sebastien Jeanneret and Marco Grassi dropped to the bench. Christophe Bonvin, of Sion, and 35-year old Marcel Koller, of Grasshoppers, comes in.

So, to the action.


The game was barely five minutes old and Scotland had a corner and almost scored. When the ball came over from the right, Durie attempted an overhead kick and it fell to McCoist in the six-yard area. He instinctively shot at goal, but the Swiss ‘keeper, Pascolo, somehow got his hand to it to keep it out.


Another chance for Scotland in the opening ten minutes. Tosh McKinlay crossed from the left to the far post, where Craig Burley knocked it back across goal. Suddenly there was McCoist again, completely unmarked and six yards out. He controlled it then shot, but again the ‘keeper made a good save to deny him. Scotland rampant here. Still no goals.


England had a corner, after some good work down the right from McManaman and Neville. When it came in, Shearer fired a shot but the Dutch cleared it off the line. Great atmosphere at Wembley and England look determined tonight.

GOAL!! ENG v NED (23 mins)

An England counter-attack, started by Ince. McManaman was sent clear down the right by Sheringham. He played it inside to Ince, and a clever flick fooled Danny Blind and the Dutch defender brought him down. Shearer stepped up to take the penalty and made no mistake. England lead with Shearer’s third goal of the tournament. Eng 1-0 Ned


England got a free-kick wide on the right. Gascoigne took it and it went through a group of players to Sheringham. He turned and shot but van der Sar got down well to save it. England playing well at the moment.

GOAL!! SCO v SWI (36 mins)

Scotland have done it. At last a goal and almost inevitably it was Ally McCoist. His third chance of the match, and this one arguably the hardest. McAllister played him in, and he was 20 yards out. He fired a right-footed shot which Pascolo couldn’t get to. They need more goals, but with England winning, Scotland were in with a chance. They need two more goals to go in between them and England. Sco 1-0 Swi


The Dutch were coming back into this. They’ve had two chances in as many minutes. Bergkamp involved in both. One he headed just wide, and then after a Southgate mistake, his shot was just saved by Seaman.


England’s turn now and Gascoigne down the right found Sheringham who hooked it across goal but Anderton at the back post just couldn’t turn it in. Close to a second there.

Within a minute Paul Ince received a booking which would mean he’d miss the Quarter-Final if England got there.


The Dutch were looking to get something just before the break. Clarence Seedorf in midfield tried to play the ball to a teammate, but it hit the Austrian referee and bounced back to him. So he turned and shot just over. That was close.

HALF TIME: Eng 1-0 Ned, Sco 1-0 Swi

A goal each for England and Scotland, but at the moment it’s England and the Netherlands who are going through. Scotland need another two goals, either for them or between them and England. But if the Dutch were to equalise, the Scots would be out no matter how many goals they got. A fascinating half in prospect.

GOAL!! ENG v NED (52 mins)

Gascoigne with a corner on the left. He hit it towards the far post and Sheringham got up to head it right in the corner. It was a brilliant header. He didn’t get a run at it, he just jumped up from a standing position. Still stood at right-angles to the goal, he directed it right into the top corner. He’s been excellent in this game, Sheringham. It no more than he deserves. England now doubled their lead. Eng 2-0 Ned


Dangerous from Switzerland. Quentin was sent down the left and his cross to the far post was put just wide by Bonvin. With England two up, Scotland were getting close to going through. What they don’t want is a Swiss goal.

GOAL!!  ENG v NED (56 mins)

England have scored again. They’re rampant at Wembley. Gascoigne again heavily involved. He played a one-two with McManaman, then once in the area, squared it to Sheringham. The Tottenham man then shaped to shoot but instead played it to his right and there was Shearer to fire in his second of the game. Two goals in four minutes. This now meant Scotland and the Netherlands were level on goal difference. But the Dutch had scored more, so another goal was needed from either the Scots or the English. Eng 3-0 Ned


A cross to the far post for McCoist and Ramon Vega just managed to get there first to deny the Rangers striker. A fantastic atmosphere in Villa Park as the Scots have heard the score from Wembley. It’s not often you’ll hear them cheer an England goal. But they still need another one

GOAL!! ENG v NED  (62 mins)

They’ve done it. Another goal and this just gets better and better and better for England. Shearer won the ball in the air on the left of the area. Played it back to Anderton, whose right-footed shot was parried by van der Sar. The quickest to the ball was Sheringham and now England had four. Two for Shearer and now two for Sheringham. England’s SAS. Eng 4-0 Ned


And that goal now meant Scotland were in second place in the group, with a one-goal superiority over the Dutch. Rare for a Scotland crowd, but they cheered loudly when the fourth England goal went in.


With cheers still ringing round Villa Park for the England goal, Scotland had a great chance. But John Collins shot went just over the bar. Scotland still lead. They could do with another.


Tom Boyd intercepted brilliantly down the left and surged forward. He almost reached the Swiss box, then played it square to Durie. He shot first time but it was straight at Pascolo


Scotland attacked down the right. McAllister was played in. It looked like the Swiss had defended it, but the ball ran free for McAllister again. From about three yards out, wide on the right of the area, he tried to hook it in, but again the ‘keeper saved.


Yet another chance for Scotland. Scott Booth had come on for McKinlay as Craig Brown tried to be more attacking. Down the right, he hit a strong shot but yet again the ‘keeper was equal to it. It was all Scotland, but still, they couldn’t add to their tally.


More great play from Sheringham, who intelligently found McManaman wide on the right. He toyed with Bogarde then sent a fizzing ball across the goal to the far post. Anderton was coming in, under pressure from Rieziger but just couldn’t get a touch to it. If he had it would’ve been a goal. Agonising.

GOAL!! ENG v NED (78 mins)

Another goal at Wembley. Had England increased their lead? No, this time it went to the Dutch. Kluivert had come on for Hoekstra. Bergkamp played a lovely ball over the defence to play him in, and he hesitated slightly to let the ball drop then slipped it through Seaman’s legs. This was agony for the Scots now as it meant the Dutch had scored more goals in the tournament. The Scots needed another goal. Eng 4-1 Ned


Another chance for the Scots. McAllister again involved. His swinging cross to the far post was headed by Booth but he just couldn’t get enough direction on it. It went wide.


The Swiss had a rare attack. Comisetti was played in down the right. He turned back onto his left foot and swung in the cross. Turkyilmaz got up first and headed it. It looked as if it had Goram beaten but he just got a hand to it to claw it out.


And that was that. Scotland were so close, so agonisingly close to getting through to the knockout stages but substitute Patrick Kluivert put paid to that. The Dutch could argue against the Scots progressing on the basis of one goal in three games, but then the Scots could point to the fact they never conceded four goals in one match. For England, this was the best performance many watching had ever seen them put in. Everything went right. On a balmy Tuesday evening in June, Terry Venables’ England produced the sort of performance they’d been promising for months. England won the group and would go through to meet Spain in the next round, again at Wembley. The Netherlands were through to play France.

GROUP A, Wembley, 76,798

ENGLAND   (1)   4   (Shearer pen 23, 57, Sheringham 51, 62)

NETHERLANDS   (0)   1   (Kluivert 78)  

ENGLAND: Seaman; G Neville, Adams, Southgate, Pearce; McManaman, Ince (Platt), Gascoigne, Anderton; Shearer (Barmby), Sheringham (Fowler)

NETHERLANDS: van der Sar; Reiziger, R de Boer (Cocu), Blind, Bogarde; Winter, Seedorf, Witschge (de Kock), Hoekstra (Kluivert); Jordi, Bergkamp


GROUP A, Villa Park, 34,926

SCOTLAND   (1)   1   (McCoist 36)

SWITZERLAND   (0)   0      

SCOTLAND: Goram; McKinlay (Booth), Calderwood, Hendry, Boyd; Burley, McCall, McAllister, Collins; Durie, McCoist (Spencer)

SWITZERLAND: Pascolo; Hottiger, Henchoz, Vega, Quentin (Comisetti); Koller (Wicky), Sforza, Bonvin, Vogel; Chapuisat (Fournier), Turkyilmaz


1 England 3 2 1 0 7 2 5 7
2 Netherlands 3 1 1 1 3 4 -1 4
3 Scotland 3 1 1 1 1 2 -1 4
4 Switzerland 3 0 1 2 1 4 -3 1



22nd June 1996, Wembley

England v Spain

22nd June 1996, Anfield

France v the Netherlands