Wednesday, March 2, 2016

2 March 1980 - A Win Of Olympic Proportions

On 2 March 1980, Paraguayan side Olimpia won the Intercontinental Cup over Malmö with an aggregate score of 3-1 over two legs.

The Swedes weren't originally supposed to be there, as the competition was designed to pit the Copa Libertadores champions against the European Cup holders. But when Nottingham Forest, winners of the 1979 European Cup, declined to participate, Malmö were called in as runners-up.

In the first leg, played in Sweden on 18 November, Olimpia escaped with narrow win, beating the hosts 0-1 with a goal from forward Evaristo Isasi in the 41st minute. Then, in Asunción for the second leg, defender Alicio Solalinde (pictured) scored in the 39th minute to extend their aggregate lead to 2-0. Malmö midfielder Ingemar Erlandsson pulled one back shortly after the break, but it was the only time they got the ball past goalkeeper Hugo Almeida. Olimpia added another of their own for good measure to set the final margin at 3-1.

It was the last two-legged version of the Intercontinental Cup as the competition switched to a single-match format later that year. Olimpia returned in 1990 and again in 2002, but lost to AC Milan and Real Madrid, respectively.

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