England have NEVER won an opening Euros game as all nine attempts revealed – but hope to end hoodoo against Croatia

England have NEVER won an opening Euros game as all nine attempts revealed – but hope to end hoodoo against Croatia

ENGLAND will try to make history on Sunday — by winning their opening match at the Euros for the FIRST time.

In NINE tournaments the Three Lions have failed to fire – and the nation is praying this will change on Sunday.

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Croatia are the first opponents of Euro 2020 – the side that handed Gareth Southgate and his charges World Cup semi-final heartbreak three years ago.

Here SunSport's Martin Lipton looks at a trail of Three Lions failure.

1968 – England 0 Yugoslavia 1

A kick-fest in Florence saw Alan Mullery become the first England player to see red.

Following Dragan Dzajic’s winner, Mullery — raging after a rake on his ankle — booted assailant Dobrivoje Trivic where it hurts.

1980 – England 1 Belgium 1

Back in a tournament for the first time since the 1970 World Cup.

Ray Wilkins opened the scoring in Turin when he chipped the Belgian defence and lofted home but Jan Ceulemans levelled seconds later.


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1988 – England 0 Republic of Ireland 1

Bobby Robson's men went to West Germany among the favourites — and lost all three group games.

Ray Houghton steered home a header after a Kenny Sansom miscue was nodded on by John Aldridge.

1992 – England 0 Denmark 0

With Yugoslavia banned, the Danes got a late call-up — but England looked like they had come ‘off the beach’.

John Jensen’s slow-motion shot hit the post and trickled into Chris Woods’ hands in this dull affair in Malmo.

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1996 – England 1 Switzerland 1

Alan Shearer ended his 12-match scoreless run with a rising angled drive from Paul Ince’s threaded pass.

But England lost their way at Wembley and the Swiss equalised from the spot after Stuart Pearce handled.

2000 – England 2 Portgual 3

Kevin Keegan's side made a flying start and were 2-0 up after 18 minutes in Eindhoven.

Paul Scholes missed a chance for his second before Luis Figo took control, with Nuno Gomes slamming in the winner before the hour.

2004 – England 1 France 2

Sven-Goran Eriksson's men blew it in three minutes of injury time in Lisbon.

David Beckham missed a penalty after Frank Lampard’s opener. Zinedine Zidane levelled and then won it from the spot in added time.

2012 – England 1 France 1

James Milner had rolled the ball wide of a vacant net before Joleon Lescott’s header in Donetsk.

But they could not hold on to the lead as Samir Nasri was given time and space to pick his spot from 20 yards.

2016 – England 1 Russia 1

Another lead blown in injury time after playing some outstanding football in the first half in Marseilles.

Eric Dier’s free-kick soared into the net with 17 minutes to go but Vasili Berezutski struck in added time.

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