Sunday, October 22, 2017

22 October 1899 - From The Humblest Of Beginnings, Great Things

On 22 October 1899, A Swiss businessman in Spain placed a notice in a local newspaper to drum up interest in forming a new club. It went on to become known as FC Barcelona.

The businessman, Hans-Max Gamper, who had once captained FC Basel, had founded FC Zürich three years earlier. His trip to Barcelona in 1898 was originally intended as a short visit, but he fell in love with the city and decided to remain (eventually adopting the Catalan form of his name, Joan Gamper).

In order to continue playing football, he submitted a notice to the local paper, Los Deportes. Translated into English, the notice read "Our friend and partner, Mr. Kans Kamper, from the Foot-Vall Section of the 'Sociedad Deportes' and former Swiss champion, wishing to organize some matches in Barcelona, requests that everyone who likes this sport contact him, come to this office Tuesday and Friday nights from 9 to 11." The notice generated a positive response, leading to the first meeting of FC Barcelona on 29 November.  

Gamper was the club's first captain, making 44 appearances and scoring 100 goals between 1899 and 1903. He later served as club president five different times, for a total of 25 years, during which Barça won the Copa del Rey three times.

They have since become one of the world's most successful clubs, with 21 league titles and four European Cup/Champions League trophies.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

21 October 1960 - A Little Asian Cup Déjà Vu

On 21 October 1960, South Korea won their second consecutive Asian Cup, beating China 1-0.

It was the second edition of the tournament, with South Korea returning as defending champions after winning it in 1956. They were joined in 1960 by China, Vietnam, and Israel, the 1956 runners-up. Each team played the other team once, with the standings decided by points. Wins were worth two points and draws one.

South Korea opened the tournament with a powerful statement of intent by beating Vietnam 5-1, followed by a 3-0 win over Israel. They entered their last match in the top spot, two points clear of Israel and China (Vietnam was at the bottom). Israel, like South Korea, had only one match left, but China had two, including their game against South Korea. So while the Koreans needed only a draw to guarantee that they would finish over Israel, they needed a win to ensure a higher finish than China.

And they got it, narrowly. Playing before their own supporters at the Hyochang Stadium in Seoul, forward Moon Jung-Sik scored the day's only goal in the 54th minute. Israel again finished as runners-up, beating China 1-0 two days later in the final match of the tournament.

Friday, October 20, 2017

20 October 1996 - That's Not Really A Cup, Though, Now Is It?

On 20 October 1996, DC United rallied from a two-goal deficit to win the first MLS Cup over the Los Angeles Galaxy.

LA and DC finished with the second- and third-best records, respectively, in that first MLS season, behind the Tampa Bay Mutiny. In the playoffs, the Galaxy advanced with wins over the San Jose Clash and the Kansas City Wiz, while DC reached the final by beating the NY/NJ MetroStars and Tampa Bay.

They met at a rainy Foxboro Stadium in Massachusetts, where LA striker Eduardo Hurtado gave his team an early lead with a 4th-minute goal. His teammate, midfielder Chris Armas then doubled the lead in the 56th minute with a goal that appeared to secure the trophy for the Galaxy.

But DC came storming back late in the second half, getting scores from substitute midfielders Tony Sanneh (72') and Shawn Medved (81') to send the match into extra time, where a 94th-minute goal from United defender Eddie Pope sealed the comeback victory.

DC went on to appear in the next three MLS Cup finals, repeating as champions in 1997 and winning it for a third time in a 1999 rematch with the Galaxy.

Thursday, October 19, 2017

19 October 1974 - Independiente Takes Five

On 19 October 1974, Independiente won their third straight Copa Libertadores--and fifth overall--beating São Paulo in a playoff, 1-0.

Going into the final, Independiente were already the tournament's most successful team, winning it in 1964, 1965, 1972, and 1973, while São Paulo were in the final for the first time. But they split the two legs, with São Paulo winning 2-1 in Brazil and Independiente taking the honors in Argentina, 2-0. Level on points, they met at the Estadio Nacional in Santiago for a playoff.

There, 60,000 people looked on as Independiente left back Ricardo Pavoni scored in the 37th minute. It was the only goal of the match, giving Independiente the win, their fifth title in five final appearances for the Argentinians.

They continued their perfect record in the final, winning it again in 1975 and 1984. São Paulo, meanwhile, reached the final five more times, lifting the cup in 1992, 1993, and 2005.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

18 October 1981 - West Germany Cuts Loose On Qatar

On 18 October 1981, West Germany won the U-20 World Cup, beating Qatar 4-0.

It was the first time in the tournament for both teams, who failed to qualify for the two previous editions. Qatar were the surprise of the tournament, beating Poland in the opening match of the group stage (followed by a 1-1 draw with the United States and a 1-0 loss to Uruguay), then beating Brazil (3-2) and England (2-1) in the knockout rounds to reach the final.

There, they faced a West German team that won their group with wins over Mexico (1-0) and Spain (4-2) (as well as a 2-1 loss to Egypt), then advanced to the final by beating hosts Australia (1-0) and Romania (1-0 (aet)).

The met at the Cricket Ground in Sydney, where West German defender Ralf Loose opened the scoring in the 26th minute. Striker Roland Wohlfarth doubled the lead in the 40th minute, before Loose completed his brace with a 66th-minute goal. Holger Anthes then capped the victory with an 86th-minute shot to set the final margin at 4-0.

Of the three scorers, only Wohlfarth would later play for the full national team, making two appearances between 1986 and 1989. The only other player to earn a senior cap was midfielder Michael Zorc, with seven.



Tuesday, October 17, 2017

17 October 1990 - Turkey Gets Stuffed By Ireland

On 17 October 1990, Ireland beat Turkey in a European qualifier to launch their record unbeaten streak. But it didn't get them to the Euros.

It was the first match day of qualifying in Group 7, with Ireland hosting Turkey in Dublin. Playing before a crowd of 46,000 at Lansdowne Road, the Irish took an early lead with a goal from striker John Aldridge (pictured) in the 15th minute. Center back David O'Leary added another in the 40th minute to send Ireland into the break with a 2-0 lead. In the second half, Aldridge scored twice more (58', 73'), with a goal from striker Niall Quinn in between (60') to raise the final score to a dominant 5-0 for the hosts.

Ireland followed the win by drawing with England (1-1) and Poland (0-0), with the combination leaving them one point short of qualification for Euro 1992. They continued their unbeaten run for a record total of 16 matches before eventually losing to Spain in their last qualifier for the 1994 World Cup. They did qualify for the World Cup, though, and advanced to the Round of 16.

Monday, October 16, 2017

16 October 1968 - United Gets Taken To School

On 16 October 1968, Estudiantes won the Intercontinental Cup, beating Manchester United over a contentious two-legged final.

By winning the previous season's Copa Libertadores, Estudiantes earned the right to face Manchester United, the reigning European Cup champions. They met for the first leg in Buenos Aires on 25 September, with the hosts eking out a narrow 1-0 victory in a match that saw United midfielder Nobby Stiles get ejected and striker Bobby Charlton receive a blow to the head that required stitches.

Despite that result, United were favorites going into the second leg at Old Trafford three weeks later, where a crowd of 63,500 gathered for the event. But they quickly fell behind when Estudiantes forward Juan Ramón Verón scored in just the seventh minute. The situation grew worse for United when striker Denis Law received an injury and had to come off in the 43rd minute, replaced by Carlo Santori.

Tempers flared in the second half as both teams had a player ejected--George Best for United and José Medina for Estudiantes--in the 88th minute. Willie Morgan drew the home team level in the 89th minute, but they could not find another goal and Estudiantes won on points.