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Recopa Tournament: Uruguay's Nacional wins the first edition in 1989

Recopa Tournament: Uruguay's Nacional wins the first edition in 1989

 

They were the link to a bright era, the teams of a time which left a permanent imprint in the history of football.  In just over five months, Uruguay's Nacional won the Copa Libertadores Tournament, Intercontinental Cup, and the first edition of the Recopa, which today, February 6, is the 26th anniversary of that feat, also followed by a fourth crowning with the Interamerican Cup.

In 1988, CONMEBOL arranged a second annual event, called the Super Copa Tournament, which involved all the teams that were champions of the Copa Libertadores.  This new competition was a success and Racing Club de Avellaneda was its first winner.

In the second part of that season, the Copa Libertadores was developed, where Uruguay's Nacional Football Club was the fair winner, by beating the amazing Newell's Old Boys.  In December, they reached the top of the world while being enshrine in Tokyo on penalties against PSV Eindhoven in the Intercontinental Tournament.

Having two championships in that year, the dispute for the Recopa Trophy came before them for the first time.  The team opened the tournament on January 31, 1989 at Montevideo's Centenario Stadium, which they won 1-0 with a goal from Daniel Fonseca at 71 minutes, just 180 seconds after coming in the game while replacing Zoppi.

Racing also had a very good team, as they were the leader of the local tournament, but the team led by Alfio Basile, suffered in the last games due to injuries: extraordinary Ubaldo Fillol, and talented Rubén Paz.

The second and decisive match of the Recopa was on February 6, at the Velez Sarsfield stadium, which was completely filled.  Nacional went out to get the win from the start, as it was their natural inclination with a very offensive cast, and three dangerous strikers with Ramón Medina Bello, Jose "Toti" Iglesias and Walter Fernandez.

But perhaps the strongest weapon of the team was their solid defense, which often seemed invincible, with Jorge Sere as goalkeeper at the net, while at the front of the defense were Tony Gómez, Felipe Revelez, Hugo de León and Javier Soca.  Racing tried all possible ways, but the clock seemed to be their worst enemy, until the 63rd minute, when referee Gabriel González called a penalty by the hand of Tony Gomez.  Walter Fernandez executed a powerful penalty shot at half height, but there as always, were the hands of "Superman", to deflect the shot and definitely drown the hopes of Racing.

In a few months they had lost Pintos Saldaña, Vargas, Lemos and De Lima, but Nacional became Champion.  Another tropy to shine at their establishment.  And again the image of Captain De León, trophy in hand, leading a victory lap, in what has become, the sweetest of customs.

 

Racing Club: Balerio; Vasquez, Costas, Fabbri (Zaccanti) Olarán; Acuña, Lamadrid, Videla (Colombatti); Medina Bello, Iglesias Fernandez. Coach: Alfio Basile.

Nacional: Sere; Gómez, Revelez, De Leon, Soca; Ostolaza, Cardaccio, Cabrera, Castro; Zoppi (Fonseca), Olivera (Saravia). Coach: Héctor Nunez.

 

Eduardo Bolaños / conmebol.com