Any game in the knockout stage that was undecided by the end of the regular 90 minutes, was followed by up to 30 minutes of extra time (two 15-minute halves). In extra time, the golden goal rule was applied, whereby the match would immediately end upon either team scoring, with the team having scored being declared the winner. If scores were still level after 30 minutes of extra time, there would be a penalty shoot-out to determine who progressed to the next round. As with every tournament since UEFA Euro 1984, there was no third place play-off.
France and Italy both emerged victorious from their semi-finals against difficult opposition to reach the final. France beat Portugal 2–1 after extra-time; Nuno Gomes gave Portugal the lead in the 19th minute, which they held until just after half-time, when Thierry Henry equalised. The game went to extra-time and looked to be heading for a penalty shootout until Zidane struck the golden goal in the 117th minute.
Italy drew 0–0 in normal time with the Netherlands and it remained the same through extra-time. The game went to penalties and Italy won the penalty shoot-out 3–1. The Netherlands had a particularly dismal showing from the penalty spot this game, with Frank de Boer having a penalty saved and Kluivert hitting the post during normal time, in addition to the failure of the Dutch to convert three out of their four penalties taken during the shoot-out. Perhaps most infamous was Jaap Stam's attempt during the shoot-out (which ballooned well over the crossbar), described by the BBC as "one of the worst spot kicks ever".