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AFC - Match Report
match report 1972-73 fixture list
UEFA Cup First Round First Leg 
13/09/1972
 
Aberdeen 2 - 3 Borussia Munchengladbach
Kick Off:  7:30 PM   Harper 55, Jarvie 67.       Kulik 20, Heynckes 38, Jensen (76)  
Attendance: 21,000
Venue: Pittodrie Stadium, Aberdeen
Berti and the Beach End
Following their European debut in 1967, the Dons had learned that KR Reykjavik (eurogame 1) were not really what European football was all about. Subsequent ties had seen them fall to more experienced opponents like Standard Liege (eurogames 3 & 4), Real Zaragosa (eurogames 7 & 8) and the mighty Juventus (eurogames 13 & 14). Five years after the Dons Euro debut the North East witnessed the first competitive visit of a German club to Pittodrie

Season 1972/73 saw Aberdeen gain entry to the UEFA cup courtesy of their runners-up spot in the league for the second season running. The previous year had seen the Dons eliminated by Italian giants Juventus after a comfortable win over Celta Vigo (eurogames 11 & 12) in the first round. Once more the draw was unkind as the Dons were paired with another big name (and names don?t come much bigger than this mouthful) in the shape of Borussia Munchengladbach. The first leg of this first round tie was scheduled for Pittodrie (eurogame 15) on Wednesday 13th September. Despite never getting beyond the 2nd round in four attempts, Aberdeen had still to taste defeat on home soil. A run of six straight wins was ended when the mighty Juventus earned a draw the previous season.

 
The Dons had already played Hertha Berlin a month earlier in a pre-season friendly, and emerged victorious from that encounter courtesy of a Harper penalty (let's hope they are not looking for revenge). The previous pre-season had seen the Dons overcome Borussia Dortmund and Munich 1860 by a similar margin in friendlies, so it was with quiet confidence that the Dons prepared for this match. 21,000 fans turned up looking to see if Aberdeen could come of age in Europe.

This quiet confidence may well have all but evaporated after a quick read of that evening's match programme. All but two of the German starting eleven had been capped by their country including a 5ft 6" full back who had amassed 41 caps and a shiny European championship medal in his hip pocket (to match the other 5 spread amongst his team mates). This little blonde defender was none other than current Scotland coach Berti Vogts (probably pondering how nervous the home fans looked as they absorbed the match day magazine appraisal of the visitors). Borussia had been German champions in 1970 and 1971 and informed commentators put their third place finish of the previous season down to an unprecedented spate of injuries which saw only the goalkeeper as an ever present.

 
By half-time the Dons Euro hopes and unbeaten home record looked to be in tatters as Kulik and Heynckes blasted the Germans into a 2-0 lead. Gunther Netzer had run the show, but was forced to leave the field with a thigh knock. There is no written record of what mild mannered Dons boss Jimmy Bonthrone said to his beleaguered troops at the interval, but he should have patented it and bottled it as the Dons came out well fired up for the second half. King Joey set the Beach End alight with a 55th minute strike. If that goal got them bouncing, then Drew Jarvie's second in the 67th minute damn near took the roof off. Urban legend has it that Berti Vogts and his teammates looked more than a little nervous as this Reds' revival looked set to swamp them. Alas this was 1972 and Pittodrie was to wait another 11 years for that sort of once in a lifetime moment.

Nine minutes later Jensen put the Germans back in front and the Dons' proud home record was gone, along with any realistic hope of qualifying for the next round.

The second leg (eurogame 16) was played in neutral Nuremberg as a result of a UEFA ban imposed on Borussia for allowing an empty lemonade can to land on the pitch following a 7-1 win over Inter Milan (that result was voided). Incredibly, the Dons led the Germans 3-2 at half-time, but the Germans had somehow acquired a bottle of "Bonthrone's Halftime Euro talk" (pat pending) and scored four times in the second half for a 6-3 win. Aberdeen's revenge on German football was to be a long time coming as they faltered against Fortuna Dusseldorf (eurogames 25 & 26), Eintracht Franfurt (27 & 28) and Hamburg (37 & 38)over the next ten years. But all good things come to those who wait, and when it came, it was most certainly worth the wait.....

Aberdeen Teamsheet:  Geoghegan, Willoughby, Hermiston, Taylor, Boel, Young, Forrest, Robb, Harper, Jarvie, Graham (Miller).

Unused Subs:

Bookings:

Borussia Munchengladbach Teamsheet:  Kleff, Michalik, Rosenthal, Kulik (Bleidik), Vogts, Bonhof, Rupp, Wimmer, Heynckes, Netzer (Danner 46), Jensen

Unused Subs: Miller B

Bookings:

Referee: R. Machin, France

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