Whatever happened to the Golden Goal?

Oliver Bierhoff won Euro 96 for Germany 20 years ago today

Whatever happened to the Golden Goal?

Picture by: SANTIAGO LYON / AP/Press Association Images

On June 30th, 1996, Germany beat the Czech Republic 2-1 in the Euro 96 Final in Wembley.

The game is best remembered for Oliver Bierhoff's winner in the 95th minute. It was the first golden goal to be scored in a major international football tournament. Twenty years later, the golden goal experiment is already part of history.

Two years later, the goal was introduced at the World Cup in France. It was only needed once to settle a game and was scored by France's Laurent Blanc in the second round, as the eventual champions defeated Paraguay 1-0 in Lens.

As was the case in Euro 96, the tournament four years later was decided by a golden goal. France's David Trezeguet scored in the 103rd minute as France defeated Italy in Rotterdam.

Only two goals were scored at Euro 2000. Both coming from Frenchmen. In the semi-finals. Zinedine Zidane scored a late penalty in the semi-finals to beat Portugal.

The 2002 World Cup was the final major event to use the goal. Three were scored in the tournament, with Senegal coming out on both sides of the cut-throat method. In the Second Round they defeated Sweden, before losing to Turkey in the quarter-finals.

One of the most iconic moments of the tournament came in the Second Round, when South Korea's Ahn Jung-hwan scored three minutes from time to knock out a Giovanni Trapattoni-managed Italy.

The golden goal was phased out, in favour of a silver goal for Euro 2004, but both methods were seen as failures and the traditional 30 minutes of extra-time was restored at the 2006 World Cup. 

While the extra half-hour can be seen as a burden on teams, with many hoping to survive to penalties, it has seen two winning goals in the previous two World Cup finals. 

It's not perfect, but it's the best method there is right now.