Saturday, October 25, 2014

25 October 1981 - Oriali Bleeds Blue And Black

On 25 October 1981, Inter defeated Milan 1-0 in the Milan Derby. The winning goal was scored in the 69th minute by Inter midfielder Gabriele Oriali (pictured). It was first of five Serie A goals he would score all season.

He also made headlines that day by requiring thirty stitches after being kicked in the face by Milan defender Mauro Tassotti.

A product of the Inter youth academy, Oriali played for the Nerazzurri from 1970 to 1983, scoring 33 goals in 277 league appearances. In that time, he won two Scudettos (1971, 1980) and two Coppa Italia trophies (1978, 1982).
Inter also won the second Milan derby of the season, but finished in fifth position in the table, behind Juventus, Fiorentina, Roma, and Napoli. Milan finished 14th out of 16 teams and were relegated to Serie B.

Friday, October 24, 2014

24 October 1857 - The World's First Football Club

On 24 October 1857, a group of amateur footballers met at Parkfield House, in the Sheffield suburb of Highfield, and founded Sheffield F.C., the world's first football club.

The club was conceived by Nathaniel Creswick and William Prest, two members of a Sheffield cricket club who were looking for a way to stay fit during the winter. Creswick and Prest were also responsible for crafting the club's rules of play, which included no offside provision and introduced freekicks for fouls. The club formally adopted those rules on 21 in October 1858 and they were subsequently used by several clubs in the North of England. Sheffield joined the Football Association in 1863, but continued to use its own rules until it adopted the FA rules in 1878.

When the FA allowed professional football in 1885, Sheffield remained an amateur club, starting its decline. It currently plays in the Northern Premier League Division One South, which is the eighth level in the English football pyramid.

In 2004, Sheffield became one of only two clubs ever to have received the FIFA Order of Merit. The other club is Real Madrid.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

23 October 1940 - If Football Is Your Religion, Today Is Your Christmas

On 23 October 1940, Edson Arantes do Nascimento was born in Três Corações, Brazil. Better known as "Pelé," he went on to become one of football's first global superstars.

He began his professional football career with Brazilian club Santos, for whom he played from 1956 to 1974. During that time, Santos won loads of silverware, including ten league titles and five Taça Brasil trophies. Pelé made 656 official appearances for Santos in all competitions, scoring 643 goals. He was the Brazilian top flight's top scorer eleven times.

Between 1957 and 1971, he made 92 appearances for the Brazilian national team. He scored 77 goals, making him the national team's all-time top scorer. Along the way, he became the only footballer to be a member of three World Cup-winning teams (1958, 1962, 1970).

In 1975, he signed with the New York Cosmos, helping them to the league title in 1977.

He played his last match on 1 October 1977, an exhibition between the Cosmos and Santos. Pelé played the first half for New York, scoring on a free kick. He then switched sides to play for Santos in the second half. New York won 2-1. After the match, several Cosmos players carried Pelé around the field while he held up the flags of Brazil and the United States.

Pelé reportedly acquired his nickname as a schoolboy due to his mispronounciation of the last name of Vasco de Gama goalkeeper Bilé.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

22 October 1908 - Denmark Spins The A Side

On 22 October 1908, Denmark defeated France in the football semi-finals at the Fourth Olympiad before a crowd of approximately 1,000 at White City Stadium in London. The final score was 17-1.

Only six teams showed up for the tournament, including two from France. The other participants were Great Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Bohemia and Hungary had been scheduled to play, but withdrew before the tournament began.

The Danes advanced to the semi-finals by defeating the French "B" side, 9-0, on the first matchday. Against the French "A" side on 22 October, Denmark quickly picked up where it had left off, drawing first blood in the 3rd minute with a goal from forward Sophus Nielsen. Nielsen added another in the 4th minute, then completed his first hat-trick of the day in the 6th minute.

Nielsen went on to score a total of 10 goals that day (3', 4', 6', 39', 46', 48', 52', 64', 66', 76'). Denmark's other goals came from August Lindgren (18', 37'), Vilhelm Wolfhagen (60', 72', 82', 89'), and Nils Middelboe (68').

France's only goal was scored by winger Émile Sartorius in the 16th minute. Although the French were supposed to play the Netherlands in the bronze medal match, they were so humiliated by the loss to Denmark that they declined to play (Sweden took their place).

Denmark's offensive might abandoned them in the gold medal match on 24 October. They lost to Great Britain, 2-0.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

21 October 2001 - San Jose Knows The Way

On 21 October 2001, the San Jose Earthquakes claimed their first MLS honors, coming from behind to defeat the Los Angeles Galaxy 2-1 in the MLS Cup Final before a crowd of 21,626 at Columbus Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio.

Los Angeles went ahead in the 21st minute as Galaxy defender Greg Vanney beat the San Jose defense with a 40-yard pass to forward Luis Hernandez. Hernandez received the pass just inside the San Jose 18-yard box and sent a strong right-footed shot past 'Quakes keeper Joe Cannon.

San Jose equalized in the 43rd minute, as forward Landon Donovan ran onto a loose ball in the Galaxy's penalty area and first-touched a powerful shot past Galaxy keeper Kevin Hartman.

The two sides played to a stalemate through the remainder of regulation, taking the match into overtime. In the 6th minute of overtime, San Jose forward Dwayne DeRosario (pictured)--who had come on as a substitute in the 85th minute--hit a curling shot from the top of the box. It caromed off the right post and into the net past Hartman's outstretched hands, giving San Jose the sudden-death victory.

It was the only match all season in which the Earthquakes had come from behind to win and only the second MLS Cup Final to be decided in overtime.

Monday, October 20, 2014

20 October 1976 - The Club Took Their Name Quite Literally

On 20 October 1976, 15-year old Diego Maradona became the youngest player in Argentina's Primera División history when he made his professional debut for Argentinos Juniors in a home match against Talleres de Córdoba.

With Argentinos trailing 1-0, he entered the match as a substitute in the 46th minute, wearing the number 16 shirt. Maradona was still 10 days away from his 16th birthday at the time. 

Argentinos lost the match, 1-0, but Maradona would go on to make an additional 166 appearances for Argentinos from 1976-80, scoring 115 goals. In 1981, he transferred to Boca Juniors for £1 million. Coincidentially, Maradona's debut for Boca was also against Talleres, but that time his side emerged 4-1 winners. 

Maradona's record as the youngest player to appear in the Primera División lasted until 7 July 2003, when Sergio Agüero debuted for Independiente at the age of 15 years, 35 days.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

19 October 1957 - The Sun Shines On Celtic

On 19 October 1957, Celtic defeated Rangers 7-1 in the Scottish League Cup Final before a crowd of 82,293 at Hampden Park in Glasgow. The match set the record scoreline for a British cup final, and ranks as the greatest margin of victory in an Old Firm derby as well as Rangers' greatest defeat.

The stage was set for high drama from the beginning, as it was the first League Cup Final to be contested by the Old Firm. Celtic entered the match as Cup holders, having won it the previous season, while Rangers were the defending league champions.

The Hoops dominated the first half, though Rangers managed to keep a fairly respectable scoreline. Celtic forward Sammy Wilson scored the first goal from a cross in the 22nd minute and winger Neil Mochan doubled the advantage in the 44th minute.

After the break, Celtic forward Billy McPhail extended the lead to 3-0 in the 53rd minute before Rangers forward Billy Simpson pulled one back in the 58th minute. Then the floodgates opened. McPhail scored his second in the 67th minute, then Mochan did likewise in the 75th. McPhail netted another in the 80th minute to complete his hat-trick. He was fouled in the box in the 90th minute, but deferred the kick to right-half Willie Fernie, who converted to close the scoring at 7-1.

The match was nicknamed "Hampden in the Sun," after a song sung by Celtic supporters to the tune of Harry Belafonte's hit song "Island in the Sun," which had climbed the UK singles charts that summer.