Soccer: UEFA Cup Final: Liverpool vs. Alaves
Unbelievable game. Liverpool started things off in an ideal fashion, with goals from Babbel (4th minute) and Gerrard (16th minute). But then Ivan, just put in the game minutes earlier, gave life to Alaves in the 28th minute. Late in the first half Liverpool regained domination when Owen was brought down in the box and McAllister didn't miss his penalty kick. But minutes into the second half, Alaves cut the lead down to one with a goal from Moreno. Just two minutes after that he scored again to equalize! Wow! But that wasn't near the end. Robbie Fowler was inserted for Liverpool and proved successful, scoring in the 73rd minute. For a long while it looked like that would do it, but with just one minute left in regulation Cruyff headed the ball off a corner kick to tie the score again and push the game into overtime. Neither team dominated in overtime, and both had their chances. It was "golden goal" -- whoever scored would win -- and then the Spanish team had Mango sent off for his second yellow. Minutes later, their captain was also sent off for his second yellow. With only nine men and several minutes left, it was looking like Liverpool might be able to do it. On the ensuing free kick, McAllister's curving ball caused a Spanish player to jump up to head it away. Unfortunately, his goalkeeper was right behind him and the ball was flicked over him and into the goal for an own goal and a loss of the Champions League final! Wow, nine goals! A tie game for 115 minutes of play! Incredible, very exciting, but while I was impressed by Alaves, I felt Liverpool deserved the win. This is their third major cup this year (earlier they won the Worthington Cup and the FA Cup), making it a triple: the first ever (of this combination) for an English team. Manchester United may have won the league, but everyone will remember 2001 as the year of Liverpool. Great game. Most impressive was that almost all the of the goals were awesome ones of skill, not the results of defensive blunders. Certainly a cup final to be remembered for decades. A classic! Final: 5-4 Liverpool.
Labels: Soccer Uefa Cup