Thursday, March 17, 2016

17 March 1996 - I Suppose Now It's Just An Italian Cup

On 17 March 1996, Genoa won the last Anglo-Italian Cup, beating Port Vale 5-2. And the match wasn't as close as the score makes it seem.

Established in 1970, the tournament came and went in different phases until the 1996 edition, which was the competition's eighth and last year, with eight English teams and eight Italian teams participating. They were evenly divided into two groups, then played each team in their group from the other country (Genoa and Port Vale played to a scoreless draw in their group). In each group, the top two teams from each country then advanced to the knockout rounds, where the English played against the English and the Italians played against the Italians until one team from each country reached the final.

Playing at Wembley, Genoa cruised to a 3-0 lead with goals from Gennaro Ruotolo (12'), Fabio Galante (21'), and Vincenzo Montella (39'). After the break, Ruotolo struck twice more (54', 66') to extended the lead to 5-0. Port Vale got a late brace from Martin Foyle (68', 82') to close the gap to three, but that proved to be the final margin.

Genoa's win evened the overall tournament results to four for each country, as English teams won in 1970 (Swindon Town), 1971 (Blackpool), 1973 (Newcastle), and 1995 (Notts County), and Italian teams won in 1972 (Roma), 1993 (Cremonese), and 1994 (Brescia).

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