Wednesday, May 11, 2011

11 May 1983 - The Giants Of Spain Fall In The Rain

On 11 May 1983, Aberdeen won the European Cup Winners' Cup, beating Real Madrid 2-1.

It was Aberdeen's second time in the tournament; their first, in 1971, ended with elimination by Budepest Honved in the first round. Real Madrid also participated that season, advancing to the Final where they lost to Chelsea in a replay.

Playing on a rain-soaked day before a crowd of approximately 18,000 at the Ullevi in Gothenburg, Sweden, Aberdeen fielded an all-Scottish side, including manager Alex Ferguson, then in his fifth season in charge. Definite underdogs, they took a shock lead when forward Eric Black scored in the 7th minute. But the lead was short-lived, as Real Madrid drew level with a 15th-minute penalty kick from forward Juanito.

Despite the early exchange, the teams were unable to score for the remainder of regulation, forcing the match into overtime. There, the winning goal was headed in by supersub John Hewitt, who had come on in place of Black. (Hewitt had also scored the winning goal in Aberdeen's semifinal against Bayern Munich.)

The win made Aberdeen the third Scottish team--after Celtic and Rangers--to win a European trophy. They quickly added to their silverware collection by winning the European Super Cup later that year.

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