Wednesday, April 10, 2013

10 April 1975 - A Cup Out Of Time

On 10 April 1975, Atlético Madrid won the Intercontinental Cup, beating Independiente over two legs.

It was the third straight appearance (and fifth overall) for Independiente, whose brutal play in the 1972 tournament against Ajax led the Dutch side to decline participation in 1973 even though they qualified by winning that year's European Cup. Their place in the Intercontinental Cup went to runners-up Juventus, who were beaten by Independiente in the competition's first single-match final.

The 1974 tournament returned to a two-legged final, played in early 1975. Bayern Munich qualified as European Cup champions, but also chose not to participate, opening the door for runners-up Atlético.

Independiente won the first leg in Argentina, 1-0, on 12 March, then traveled to Spain for the second leg. Playing before a crowd of 65,000 at Madrid's Estadio Vicente Calderón, Atlético drew level on aggregate with a 34th-minute strike from Javier Irureta. Then, in the 85th minute, with time close to expiring and a replay looming, striker Rubén Ayala scored to put the hosts up 2-1 on aggregate and they held on for the victory.

The 1976 Intercontinental Cup was played that November, so while it was played twice that year, 1975 officially did not have an Intercontinental Cup.

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