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They think it's all ov-Herr; IT IS NOW!; Czechs golden KO fury.

Germany 2

Czech Rep 1

Tearful Jurgen Klinsmann hugs his German team-mates after the historic golden goal clinched the European Championship.

But seconds later Euro 96 erupted in controversy when the furious Czechs complained that the goal should have been disallowed for offside.

Angry Czech coach Dusan Uhrin blasted referee Pierluigi Pairetto for missing a linesman's flag when German sub Oliver Bierhoff scored the decisive goal after 94 minutes.

Linesman Donato Nicoletti signalled offside against Stefan Kuntz but he was ignored. "I just can't explain it," fumed Uhrin. "We looked at the linesman and we could all see he had his flag raised.

"At least one minute passed before the referee consulted with his linesman.

"All the German players were on the pitch by then so I really can't say that this result is fair."

But Udinese striker Bierhoff, who also scored Germany's 73rd-minute equaliser, said: "I know this ref from Italy and he is very well respected. If something fishy had gone on he would have had the courage to disallow it." German coach Berti Vogts said: "Maybe the linesman wanted to tell the ref that the penalty he gave against us should not have been allowed."

Former Spurs star Klinsmann wept in relief before receiving the prize from the Queen.

Vogts added: "Overall, I can say that the best team of the tournament have been crowned European Champions.

"I only had nine fit players tonight. Thomas Helmer and Klinsmann went through torture but made the sacrifice for their team-mates."
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Copyright 1996 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Sport
Author:Irwin, Mark
Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 1, 1996
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