Friday, May 7, 2010

7 May 1986 - Steaua Steals The Win

On 7 May 1986, Romanian side Steaua Bucureşti won the European Cup, beating Barcelona on penalties, 0-0 (2-0), before a crowd of 70,000 at Seville's Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán. The star of the day was Steaua's goalkeeper, Helmuth Duckadam, who was hailed afterward as the Hero of Seville.

The Romanians had ridden a strong defense to the Final, not conceding more than one goal in any earlier match and keeping four clean sheets. The last of those clean sheets was the critical semifinal second leg against Anderlecht. Down 1-0 from the first leg, Steaua stifled the Belgian offense while scoring three goals of their own to advance 3-1 on aggregate.

Barcelona, meanwhile, had several close calls, advancing from the first and second rounds by virtue of the away goal rule and winning their semifinal matchup against Gothenburg in a penalty shootout.

The first 120 minutes of the Final itself were rather dull, with the Romanians content to sacrifice their offense in favor of a stern defense that the Catalonians could not penetrate. But all the excitement that had been held at bay during those first two hours spilled out in the penalty shootout. For the first four shots - two from each side - the keepers guessed correctly each time and swatted the ball away. Steaua forward Marius Lăcătuş finally broke the deadlock, blasting a powerful shot just under the bar and into the roof of the net.

Duckadam saved yet another kick, a low rolling shot to his right, then Steaua midfielder Gavril Balint sent Barça keeper Javier Urruticoechea the wrong way to put the Romanians up 2-0. Barça's hopes then fell to forward Marcos Alonso, but again, Duckadam guessed correctly, diving to his left to save the kick. He had saved all four shots against him, leading Steaua to their first (and to date, only) European Cup trophy.

1 comment:

  1. I'm so proud that am romanian!