European Championships: Fastest goals in the tournament

Ahead of Euro 2020, here's a list of the fastest goals scored in the history of the European Championships.

Russia's Dmitri Kirichenko (No 18) scored the European Championships' fastest ever goal against Greece in 67 seconds.   -  AP

Nothing sets the tone of a match more than an early goal. It can pave a way for a match to be more competitive or completely dismantle a team’s morale. 

In the following list, we see some of the quickest goals in Euro history.

1:07 - Dmitri Kirichenko (Russia 2-1 Greece, 20/06/2004)

Russia’s Kirichenko watched his team lose back to back matches from the bench. When coach Georgi Yartsev started him for the final Group A game, he made history by scoring a well-taken goal past goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis after just 67 seconds. It remains the fastest goal in the European Championship finals.

1:21 - Emil Forsberg (Sweden 3-2 Poland, 23/06/2021)

The RB Leipzig forward struck after just 81 seconds to put Sweden in the lead to stun Poland. Forsberg added a second but Poland equalised with five minutes left on the clock. However, Viktor Claesson struck in the fourth minute of added time to secure Sweden the win.

1:40 - Robert Lewandowski (Poland 1-1 Portugal (3-5 pens), 30/06/2016)

Goalless after his first four matches, Robert Lewandowski , who made Bundesliga history by breaking Gerd Muller’s goalscoring record recently, couldn’t have asked for a better start against Portugal in the quarter-final as he scored after just 100 seconds on the clock. 

Unfortunately, the goal couldn’t come in a winning cause as Poland lost to Portugal on penalties.

1:56 - Luke Shaw (England 1-1 Italy (2-4 pens), 11/07/2021)

England had the best possible start in the final at the Wembley Stadium when left wingback Luke Shaw smashed home from close range. Shaw's goal is the fastest in a European Championship final.

Italy equalised in the second half before it clinched the title on penalties.

2:00 - Robbie Brady (France 2-1 Republic of Ireland, 26/06/2016)

Playing a round of 16 match against France in Lyon, Brady gave Ireland the exact start it needed by netting the opener in the second minute by successfully converting a penalty.

The Irish couldn’t build enough momentum to cause an upset as the French clawed back into the match to win it 2-1. 

2:07 - Sergei Aleinikov (England 1-3 Soviet Union, 18/06/1988)

An early slip up by Glen Hoddle after the two-minute mark allowed Aleinikov to burst into a surging run through the middle and score past goalkeeper Chris Woods, with a sharp turn preceding the finish. 

The early momentum was important for the Soviet Union as it went on to win the match 3-1 and progressed to the semifinal.

2:14 - Petr Jiracek (Greece 1-2 Czech Republic, 12/06/2012)

Petr Jiracek, assisted with a beautiful pass by Tomas Hubschman, scored a goal against Greece after 134 seconds, which set the tempo of the match as the Czechs went on to win 2-1. The win allowed the Czech Republic to grab its first points in the group stage. 

2:14 - Alan Shearer (Germany 1-1 England (6-5 pens), 26/06/1996)

Sharing a similar time with Petr Jiracek, Shearer set the mood for an exhilarating semifinal with Germany as he struck within 134 seconds of play. He displayed true striker’s instincts as he was in the right place at the right time when German 'keeper Andreas Kopke fumbled Paul Ince’s volley. 

The goal, however, came in a losing cause as England crashed out of the Euro after losing to Germany on penalties. 

2:25 -  Michael Owen (Portugal 2- 2 England (6-5 pens), 24/06/2004)

Michael Owen had English hearts fluttering after pouching on a loose ball and scoring England’s first goal after 145 seconds of the match. However, there was little to separate the two sides after 120 minutes of football as the score-line remained 2-2 after extra time and the match went to penalties. 

Ironically, Portugal’s goalkeeper Ricardo, who had let in the early goal, scored the penalty decisive kick to send Portugal through to the semifinal. 

2.27- Hristo Stoichkov (Bulgaria 1-0 Romania, 13/06/1996)

When Bulgaria’s Stoichkov scored past Romania’s goalkeeper Bogdan Stelea after 147 seconds of the match at St James Park, a lot of spectators missed the goal as they weren’t settled yet.

The whole move culminated from from Miodrag Belodedici's mistake, which allowed Stoichkov to make a run through the heart of the Romanian defence before making space for himself and finishing with a goal after a quick dummy. 

5.17 - Chus Pereda (Spain 2-1 Soviet Union, 21/06/1964)

The oldest goal on the list, Chus Pereda of Spain met a cross by Luis Suarez from the right flank and thumped the ball home after 317 seconds. The Spaniards went on to win the game.

For more updates, follow Sportstar on :