Saturday, May 12, 2012

12 May 1990 - One Touch Was All It Took

On 12 May 1990, Aberdeen outlasted Celtic in a dramatic penalty shootout to claim their fifth Scottish Cup in nine years.

After winning their first two Scottish Cups in 1947 and 1970, Aberdeen dominated the tournament in the 1980s under manager Alex Ferguson, winning it in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1986 (along with three league titles under Ferguson in 1980, 1984, and 1985). For the 1990 Final, however, the Dons were led by Alex Smith, appointed in 1988.

They faced a familiar opponent, having played Celtic five times already that season. They met four times in the league, resulting in one win each and two draws, and also played against each other in the Scottish League Cup semifinal (which Aberdeen won to reach the final against Rangers, which they also won).

In the Scottish Cup Final, played before a crowd of 60,493 at Hampden Park, the two teams finished extra time in a scoreless draw to force the match into penalties. In the shootout, they couldn't stop scoring, so the tally rose to 8-8 before Aberdeen keeper Theo Snelders dove to his left to block the attempt from Celtic defender Anton Rogan. Defender Brian Irvine then stepped up and drove the decisive shot home to give the cup to Aberdeen, 0-0 (9-8).

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