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Aberdeen 2 - 1 Real Madrid

HT Score: Aberdeen 1 - 1 Real Madrid

European Cup Winners Cup Final
After extra time
Aberdeen scorers: Black 6, Hewitt 111.
Real Madrid scorers: Juanito 14 pen

11/05/1983 | KO: 19:30

Real magic from champion Dons

The game began in monsoon conditions, which perhaps suited the Scots, and it was Aberdeen who made the early running. In five minutes a spectacular volley from Eric Black crashed off the bar. If Madrid thought they had just to turn up to win then the Dons soon knocked that out of them. It was a devilish start by the Dons and they really went for it from the word go. That early pressure brought the first goal when Alex McLeish headed down a deep Gordon Strachan corner. It was Eric Black who reacted the quickest to clip the ball past Augustin in the Real goal. It was game on.

After quarter of an hour, disaster for the Dons! A short pass back from McLeish allowed Santillana to reach the ball before the outreached arm of Jim Leighton. Juanito converted the penalty. The Dons at that stage looked in trouble as they failed to come to terms with losing a goal. Alex Ferguson recalled - "for 20 minutes the team forgot all the things we had been telling them, especially how we would react if we lost a goal. We lost our grip on the game and it was only in the last five minutes of the first half that we managed to be ourselves again. At half time, two things were discussed: the first was pushing Weir further forward to give the midfield more room to play; the second was getting the strikers, McGhee and Black, to work back more quickly so Stielike would be forced further forward thereby letting Cooper and Simpson to get at him".

The second half was all Aberdeen and they went close on several occasions. Gordon Strachan, Weir and McGhee were all over Real like a rash but the decisive goal would just not come. It seemed that Real Madrid had settled for extra time and the game sapped every ounce of energy out of the players. Ferguson continued, "extra time is always nervous as whoever scores first tends to win the match but my other worry was if the final went down to penalty kicks - no British team had ever won in a shoot out".

With only minutes left it took another superb build up from the Dons to finally bring the winning goal. Peter Weir, who had tormented Juan Jose all night, set up Mark McGhee down the left. The Dons striker rode a challenge to leave himself clear on the edge of the box. He delivered a perfect left foot cross which was missed by Augustin and left John Hewitt to dive in and head home a glorious goal.

The 15,000 Aberdeen fans went wild. The Red Army mustered up renewed vigour to bring their side to a nerve-wracking finish. A late free kick whistled past Jim Leighton's post and it was all over; Aberdeen had won the Cup Winners Cup.

Once the reality had sunk in it was time for Ferguson to reflect - "We got better because we knew that time was running out on the chance of a life time. We had the belief that we were better than Real".

Last word to beaten Real Madrid manager Alfredo Di Stefano - "Aberdeen have what money can't buy - a soul; a team spirit built in a family tradition."

Aberdeen Teamsheet
Leighton, Rougvie, McMaster, Cooper, McLeish, Miller, Strachan, Simpson, McGhee, Black (Hewitt 87), Weir.

Unused Subs: Gunn, Watson, Angus, Kennedy.
Real Madrid Teamsheet
Augustin, Juan Jose, Camacho (San Jose 91), Metgod, Bonet, Gallego, Juanito, Angel, Santillana, Stielike (Salguero), Isidro
Attendance: 17,800
Venue: Ullevi Stadium, Gothenburg
Referee: G. Menajali, Italy
They came by land sea and air!
Have you got your ticket for the big match?
The Match Programme from May 1983.
The venue. The Ullevi Stadium in Gothenburg.
The Dons players train on the pitch the night before the final.
The players enter the arena for the biggest night of their life.
The captain's greet each other prior to the match.
Eric Black in action prior to scoring the opening goal.
The tension on the bench is unbearable as the match heads for extra time.
John Hewitt stretches his kneck muscles to reach McGhee's cross.
Hewitt steers the ball into the net for the winner.
Time to celebrate and be bear hugged by Doug Rougvie.
McLeish, Black and Cooper celebrate at full time.
Peter Weir acknowledges the red army.
Willie Miller in iconic pose with the trophy.
We've done it!
Ferguson and Knox hold the trophy aloft.
Black, Hewitt and Cooper with AFC accessories.
Home to another party.
Union Street is mobbed as the Dons parade the cup.
Back to Pittodrie and another huge reception.
Next Match
20 Apr 2024 / 15:00 / Hampden Park, Glasgow