Saturday, May 25, 2013
Inter won back-to-back European Cups in 1964 and 1965, then defeated defending champions Real Madrid in the 1967 semifinals to reach their third final in four years. Celtic, meanwhile, were in the tournament for the first time.
In just the seventh minute, the referee awarded Inter a penalty when Celtic right back Jim Craig fouled forward Renato Cappellini in the box. Sandro Mazzola converted the ensuing kick to put the Italians up 1-0, allowing them to pull back into their defensive catenaccio formation favored by manager Helenio Herrera.
And it worked, for a while. But in the 63rd minute, Craig sent the ball in for Tommy Gemmell, who beat the Inter keeper Giuliano Sarti to draw Celtic level. Then, in the 84th minute, they took the lead when Stevie Chalmers scored the winner. Afterward, manager Jock Stein delivered a not-so-veiled criticism of Inter's defensive style, saying "We did it by playing football; pure, beautiful, inventive football. There was not a negative thought in our heads."
Celtic returned to the final in 1970, but lost to Feyenoord. Inter made it there twice more, losing to Ajaz in 1972, but beating Bayern Munich in 2010.
Friday, May 24, 2013
He made his professional debut in November 1983 with Auxerre. He got off to a slow start, including a loan spell and a break for national service, but began to show signs of his future prowess in his last two seasons there, scoring 25 goals in 79 appearances. That led to a high-priced move to Marseille in 1988, followed by short spells with Nîmes (1991) and Leeds United (1992).
Manchester United came calling in 1992, signing him for £1.2M. He scored only 9 times in that first season, but was instrumental in helping United claim the inaugural Premier League title, their first league championship since 1967. The following season, he delivered 25 goals across all competitions as United claimed a league and FA Cup double, earning the nickname "King Eric" from United's supporters.
Before he retired in 1997, he added another Double (1996) and a fourth league title (1997). But his time at Old Trafford was not free from controversy. One of the most notable incidents occurred in January 1995, during an away match against Crystal Palace, when he leapt into the stands to kick one of the home supporters. He received a suspension for the rest of the season and a fine of £20,000, plus a sentence of 120 hours of community service.
Since his retirement, he has spent time acting and, most recently, joined the revived New York Cosmos as Director of Soccer.
Thursday, May 23, 2013
Although UEFA first held a tournament for women's international teams in 1969, and has organized a regular European championship since 1982, the 2001-02 Women's Cup was its first club competition for its distaff members. Including a single-match qualifying round, a total of 33 teams participated.
Both Frankfurt and Umeå impressed in the early rounds, winning their groups without a loss and setting goal differentials of +24 and +10, respectively (Frankfurt's differential was reached primarily in a single game when they beat CSC Yerevan 18-0 in their final match of the group).
They both made their way through the knockout rounds to reach the final, played at the Waldstadion in Frankfurt. There, a crowd of just over 12,000 gathered to watch a closely-fought match that remained scoreless deep into the second half.
Then, in the 68th minute, defender Steffi Jones, a German international and Frankfurt native, scored the opening goal to put the hosts in front. The defenses for both sides continued to dominate for the remaining minutes before midfielder and captain Birgit Prinz (pictured) added a second for the home team in the 89th minute to set the final margin at 2-0.
The two teams met twice more in the tournament final, with Umeå winning in 2004 and Frankfurt winning in 2008.
Wednesday, May 22, 2013
The Argentinians had won the previous year's tournament, but it had taken them sixteen matches to do it, including a three-match final against Palmeiras that Estudiantes won in a replay. But as holders, they received a bye into the 1969 semifinals, where they won both games against Universidad Católica by identical scores of 3-1 to reach the final.
There, they faced Nacional, who had reached the final twice before, but lost to Argentinian teams both times (Independiente in 1964 and Racing in 1967). They played a full thirteen-game schedule to get there a third time, giving them a distinct disadvantage against the well-rested Estudiantes side.
Nacional hosted the first leg in Montevideo on 15 May and lost 0-1 to a 66th-minute goal from Eduardo Flores. In the second leg in La Plata one week later, Flores scored again to put Estudiantes up 1-0, then Marcos Conigliaro stretched the margin to 2-0 in the 37th minute and complete the victory.
Estudiantes went on to win the competition again in 1970, becoming the first team to lift the trophy in three consecutive years.
Tuesday, May 21, 2013
A forward/midfielder, Lilly earned her first cap in 1987 when she was sixteen years old and became a regular fixture in the line-up by 1991, helping the US to win the first Women's World Cup. A third-place finish followed in 1995 before the team took gold at the 1996 Olympics.
In 1998, the team traveled to Kobe for a friendly against Japan. It was there that Lilly made her record 152nd appearance, passing the former record of 151 set by Norway's Heidi Støre the previous year. She went on to score the opening goal in the 36th minute as the US proceeded to win 2-0.
Lilly's international career lasted until 2010 and she retired with a total of 352 caps, the most of any player, male or female.
Monday, May 20, 2013
Since winning the first five European Cups from 1956 to 1960, then another in 1966, Real Madrid had reached the final only once more, losing to Liverpool in 1981. Juventus, meanwhile, did not have Real Madrid's pedigree in the competition, having won it twice, but were playing in their third consecutive final, beating Ajax in 1996, then finishing as runners-up to Borussia Dortmund in 1997.
Juventus had also enjoyed the better domestic season that year, taking the Scudetto with a five-point lead over Inter, while Real Madrid finished fourth in La Liga.
But when they met in Amsterdam for the Champions League final, it was Real Madrid claimed the trophy with a 1-0 win, thanks to a goal from forward Predrag Mijatović in the 67th minute. They have since gone on to win it twice more (2000, 2002). Juventus returned the the final in 2003, but lost to Milan.
Thursday, May 16, 2013
Originally called the National Challenge Cup, the tournament was established by the United States Football Association to compete with a similar competition started four years earlier by the American Amateur Football Association. But while that tournament was limited to amateurs, the National Challenge Cup was open to all teams across the country, making the first truly national competition in the United States.
While almost 300 teams received invitations, only 40 chose to participate. Most of those came from the northeast region, though Chicago was also represented. But, in the end, the final came down to a pair of teams from Brooklyn.
They met at Coates Field in Pawtucket, Rhode Island, where a large local crowd turned out for the event. It took only three minutes for Brooklyn FC to take the lead with a goal from their captain, Percy Adamson, but Celtic equalized with a 27th-minute penalty from Thomas Campion.
The match remained level deep into the second half, then, with three minutes remaining, FC pushed ahead again when James Ford found the back of the net to win the cup, known as the Dewar Trophy (pictured). It was part of a double for FC, who also won that season's NAFBL title.