Saturday, September 28, 2013

28 September 1972 - Total Football, Total Domination

On 28 September 1972, Ajax won the Intercontinental Cup with a 3-0 win over Independiente.

The Dutch side had finished the previous season with a triple, winning the league, the KNVB Cup, and their second European Cup. As winners of the 1971 European Cup, they had qualified to face Copa Libertadores champions Nacional in that year's Intercontinental Cup, but declined to participate. When the opportunity came again in 1972, they had a change of heart and accepted, agreeing to face Independiente in the two-legged competition.

The Argentinians hosted the first leg at La Doble Visera in Avellaneda on 6 September. Although Ajax led for 76 minutes after Johan Cruyff scored (5'), Francisco Sá's 81st-minute equalizer earned a draw.

Twenty-two days later, the teams met at the Olympic Stadium in Amsterdam for the second leg. Ajax again took an early lead as Johan Neeskens scored in the 12th minute, but unlike the previous match, they were able to extend their lead. In the 65th minute, Cruyff broke through the offside trap to face the keeper one-on-one before squaring the ball for a charging Johnny Rep, who had an easy goal into an open net.

Independiente surged forward in search of a goal of their own, but could not keep possession. With their defense pushed forward, Neeskens got through again and scored in the 80th minute to seal the 3-0 victory, winning the trophy 4-1 on aggregate.

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