France break Germany’s 50-year hold over hosts at finals

Marseille (AFP) – Antoine Griezmann’s double for France in Thursday’s 2-0 semi-final win over Germany at Euro 2016 broke die Mannschaft’s 50-year winning streak against host nations at major tournaments.

The French victory in Marseille was the first time Germany had lost to the hosts at a major finals since their famous 4-2 defeat to England in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley. 

Germany had enjoyed half a century of ending host nations’ involvement in their own tournament until their defeat at the Stade Velodrome.

Germany knocked Brazil out of the 2014 World Cup in emphatic style with a 7-1 thrashing in the semi-finals.

And six years before that, Germany beat co-hosts Austria 1-0 in the group stages of Euro 2008 to end their opponents’ chances of reaching the knockout stages.

Previous to that, the Germans dumped out South Korea after the co-hosts’ surprise run to the semi-finals of the 2002 World Cup.

It was also Germany who dashed England’s dreams at Wembley in the semi-finals of Euro ’96 — the last time Germany won the European Championship — in a nail-biting penalty shootout.

At the 1992 European Championship in Sweden, the home nation was beaten 3-2 by the Germans in the semi-finals before Denmark pulled off a shock 2-0 win in the final.

At the 1982 World Cup, a 2-1 win by Germany against hosts Spain in the second round ended the Spaniards’ hopes of progressing.

Likewise, Mexico’s party at the 1986 World Cup was over in the quarter-finals on penalties as Germany went on to lose the final to a Diego Maradona-inspired Argentina.

At the European Championship in 1972, Germany beat Belgium 2-1 in the Antwerp semi-final, following that up four years later with a 4-2 extra-time victory against Yugoslavia in Belgrade in the last four of the 1976 tournament.

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