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Aberdeen V Bayern Munich

March 15, 2013 9:00 am Author: Aberdeen FC
Aberdeen V Bayern Munich

30 years on

Thirty years ago on Saturday (16th March), Aberdeen and Bayern Munich took to the field for the second leg of their European Cup Winners’ Cup Quarter-Final in arguably the greatest game ever witnessed at Pittodrie Stadium.

It is easy to forget, given the competition’s ignominious ending in 1999, but back in the days before television and advertising revenues rendered a fourth place league finish to be more valuable than domestic cup success, the Cup Winners’ Cup was capable of boasting a line-up at least matching the quality on offer in the European Cup.With only one top team from each country taking their place in Europe’s premier competition, plenty of illustrious names were left behind for the remaining tournaments.1982/83 was such a year, with the last eight featuring Bayern, Internazionale, Real Madrid and holders Barcelona.

Bayern started the season anxious to dispel the disappointments of the previous campaign.Having recorded back-to-back Bundesliga titles to start the decade, Peter Withe’s solitary goal for Aston Villa prevented them from concluding the 1981/82 season with a fourth European Cup in nine years.Fighting on three fronts, their league form faded and they eventually finished third, five points behind champions Hamburg, and were left seeking solace in the German Cup.

Three Bayern players experienced further dismay that summer as part of West Germany’s World Cup squad.Midfielders Paul Breitner and Wolfgang Dremmler together with forward Karl Heinz-Rummenigge, a two-time European Footballer of the Year, were soundly beaten by Paolo Rossi’s Italy in the final.Breitner, however, already had a World Cup winner’s medal from 1974 in his glittering collection, along with success in the 1972 European Championships, five league titles with Bayern, two more with Real Madrid, a European Cup, two German Cups and a Copa del Rey.His late consolation goal in the 3-1 defeat made him only the third player to score in two World Cup finals – a feat which only Zinedine Zidane has since repeated.

Both sides endured difficult First Round matches.The Dons, who dispatched Sion 11-1 in a preliminary tie, edged out Dinamo Tirana by a single goal while Bayern survived an even closer encounter to sneak past Torpedo Moscow on away goals with a 1-1 draw behind the Iron Curtain after being held 0-0 in Munich.The Second Round saw Aberdeen defeat Lech Poznan home and away to win 3-0 on aggregate, with Bayern trouncing Tottenham 4-1 in a pulsating match after drawing 1-1 at White Hart Lane.

As if Alex Ferguson’s youthful side didn’t already face an uphill battle, Bayern also boasted West German internationals in defender Klaus Augenthaler, winger Karl Del’Haye and striker Dieter Hoeness.Left-back Hans Pfl?gler would also go on to represent the national team, joining Augenthaler in the 1990 World Cup winning squad.Indeed, three of the Bayern players that graced the Pittodrie field in 1983 were voted into “Bayern’s Greatest Ever XI” – Augenthaler, Breitner and Rummennigge taking their places alongside legends like Franz Beckenbauer, Lottar Matth?us and Gerd M?ller.Far from being overawed, this was exactly the kind of environment in which Fergie’s young charges excelled.

Having performed with discipline and maturity to earn a scoreless draw in Munich (which many would say is Aberdeen’s finest ever performance), the threat of conceding an away goal loomed large.Augenthaler duly obliged, roaming forward from defense as Beckenbauer did so effectively, picking up possession at the edge of the box and rifling an unstoppable shot high into the net.A typically robust Neil Simpson effort levelled the score at half-time, but Bayern’s away goal advantage was further increased early in the second period when Pfl?gler drilled a spectacular volley beyond Leighton.

Long before Manchester United’s Ole Gunner Solskj?r famously came off the bench to put the ball in the Germans’ net in the 1999 European Cup Final, Sir Alex Ferguson’s original “Supersub” up his sleeve in the shape of John Hewitt.In remarkably similar circumstances to Manchester United’s 1999 Cup Final victory over the same opponents, Hewitt was introduced to the fray with fifteen minutes remaining and Bayern a goal ahead.By full time, two goals in the space of a minute, the second courtesy of the substitute, had transformed the outcome.

Since that glorious evening, the two clubs have ploughed very different paths.Scottish clubs generally fell away from the European scene until the mini one season resurgence five years ago when Aberdeen again went onto to meet Bayern in the UEFA Cup. Bayern has remained dominant with fifteen Bundesliga titles, nineteen domestic cups, one UEFA Cup and the European Cup in 2001 to compensate for their heartbreak in Barcelona in 99, although they were to suffer more agony last year in the Allianz arena against a very lucky Chelsea side.

Whatever happens in the next 30 years, the lucky Dons supporters who were there at Pittodrie that night on 16th March 1983 will never forget it. That one result changed the history of Aberdeen Football Club.

RedTV | watch the game again please click here

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