Wednesday, June 8, 2016

New Addition: UEFA Super Cup- Part One (Ajax Amsterdam vs. Rangers Glasgow, 1973)


(Special thanks to @oldrangerspics who is responsible for the source material and the photos for this entry)


The very first Super Cup in 1973 was not under the Official direction and organization of UEFA. To celebrate their Centenary, Scotland’s Rangers Glasgow had arranged a home and away series with Holland’s Ajax Amsterdam.
It was Dutch reporter Anton Witkamp of ‘De Telegrafff’, who had come up with the idea and concept of a Trophy between the Champions and Cup Winners Cup winners.
Rangers had won the 1972/72 edition of the Cup Winners Cup by defeating Dinamo Moscow (3-2) on May 24th, 1972.
UEFA’s reluctance in getting involved with this first edition would most likely have to do with the fact that Rangers were banned from playing in Europe, due to crowd trouble in that Cup Winners Cup Final in May.
Johan Cruyff’s Ajax, the absolute best team in Europe at the time, had won the 1971/72 edition of the Champions Cup (and their second straight) by defeating Internazionale Milano (2-0) on May 31st (They would go on and win their third straight Champions Cup, a few months later).
The Trophy for this inaugural series was presented by Dutch Newspaper ‘De Telegrafff’ and called ‘Super Cup of Europe’.
The first leg was played on January 16th, 1973 at Glasgow’s Ibrox Stadium.
In an entertaining match, an excellent Ajax confirmed its status as the finest team in Europe. Not that Rangers were poor, they did play well, but Ajax were just a level above.
Ajax started with Arnold Muhren as they were missing Neeskens.
They took the lead in the 34th minute. Johan Cruyff sent a cross into the path of Johnny Rep who drew McCloy out and struck home.


Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Johan Cruyff and John Greig before kickoff with 1910-20s Rangers striker Andy Cunningham, January 16, 1973, Super Cup, Rangers Glasgow 1-Ajax Amsterdam 3)

Photo From: Rangers News, Issue 77, January 24, 1973 (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Johan Cruyff and John Greig shaking hands before kickoff, January 16, 1973, Super Cup, Rangers Glasgow 1-Ajax Amsterdam 3)

In the 41st minute, Rangers tied the match against the run of the play. John Greig took a long throw in towards Alfie Conn who gave it to MacDonald, wide on the left edge of penalty area. He took a low shot on the turn past Stuy from a narrow angle.
Just before halftime, Ajax retook the lead. Cruyff took a pass on the right edge of the box. He sidestepped Forsyth and shot over McCloy’s shoulder into the net.
Early in the second half, Alfie Conn limped off. Tommy McLean came on and his presence helped Rangers who created many chances.

Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(January 16, 1973, Super Cup, Rangers Glasgow 1-Ajax Amsterdam 3)

Ajax wrapped up the match in the 76th minute. Barry Hulshoff sent Haan clear to score the third.
Rangers’ Greig and Parlane had chances near the end but could not capitalize.
Rangers General Manager Willie Waddell, described Ajax as ‘the best side to visit Ibrox ever’.

Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(January 16, 1973, Super Cup, Rangers Glasgow 1-Ajax Amsterdam 3)

He had not seen any display as brilliant as the first half. For the Scottish Press, this was a defeat without dishonor against the best team in Europe. Rangers’ courage was praised despite being outmatched in every way.
They had lost to a better side no shame. The entertaining match ended with fireworks to celebrate the centenary
Rangers Manager Jock Wallace vowed that Rangers would fight back in the return leg in Amsterdam.


Photo From: Rangers News, Issue 77, January 24, 1973 (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Johan Cruyff with the pennant exchanged before kickoff, January 16, 1973, Super Cup, Rangers Glasgow 1-Ajax Amsterdam 3)

The Second Leg took place at Amsterdam’s Olympisch Stadion on January 24th, 1973.
Not many had given Rangers any chance, but they came out fighting and once again were praised for their courage.
For Rangers, Greig and Parlane were outstanding, as was McCloy who made many saves in the match.
Ajax may have underestimated Rangers after winning so convincingly in the first leg and had taken their foot off the pedal.
Rangers took the lead in the second minute. MacDonald struck a shot from outside of the box after a missed attempt by Parlane.


Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(January 24, 1973, Super Cup, Ajax Amsterdam 3-Rangers Glasgow 2)

Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Johan Cruyff, January 24, 1973, Super Cup, Ajax Amsterdam 3-Rangers Glasgow 2)

Ten minutes later, Ajax tied the match. From the left side, Cruyff sent Haan clear with a through ball and he beat McCloy.
In the 35th minute, Rangers took the lead once more. McLean took a free kick from the right side that was headed in by Quinton Young.
Just two minutes later Ajax were level again. The linesman flag had been raised for an offside, when Neeskens was fouled by Willie Mathieson in the box. The referee awarded the spot kick despite the protests and Gerry Muhren scored from the spot.

Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Gerry Muhren’s penalty kick, January 24, 1973, Super Cup, Ajax Amsterdam 3-Rangers Glasgow 2)

Just before halftime, Greig scored a goal that was waved off due to Offside.
In a relatively quieter second half, Cruyff settled the matters with ten minutes remaining. A long cross was headed across by Muhren (on the left side) to Cruyff who struck the winner.
Rangers fought to the end, but Ajax’s superiority was beyond dispute.
They collected yet another trophy in their era of domination.
From the following year, UEFA took over the Organization of this new competition that survives to this day.


Photo From: (thanks to @oldrangerspics)
(Ajax players celebrating with the trophy, January 24, 1973, Super Cup, Ajax Amsterdam 3-Rangers Glasgow 2)


January 16, 1973
Rangers Football Club-Glasgow (Scotland) 1-Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax (Holland) 3
Super Cup- First Leg
Venue: Glasgow-Ibrox Stadium
Attendance: 58,000
Referee: Alistair McKenzie (Scotland)
Goalscorers: (Rangers): Alex MacDonald 41st
                    (Ajax): Johnny Rep 34th, Johan Cruijff 45th, Arie Haan 76th

Lineups:
Rangers Glasgow:
Peter McCloy; Sandy Jardine, Willie Mathieson; John Greig, Derek Johnstone (Graham Fyfe 66th), David Smith; Alfie Conn (Tommy McLean 49th), Tom Forsyth, Derek Parlane, Alex MacDonald, Quinton Young

Coach: Jock Wallace
Team Captain: John Greig
Uniform Colors: Blue Shirts , White Shorts, Red Socks

Ajax:
Heinz Stuy; Wim Suurbier, Barry Hulshoff; Horst Blankenburg (West Germany), Ruud Krol, Gerry Mühren; Arie Haan, Arnold Mühren, Johnny Rep, Johan Cruijff (Sjaak Swart 80th), Piet Keizer (Heinz Schilcher 65th)

Coach: Stefan Kovacs (Romania)
Team Captain: Johan Cruijff
Uniform Colors: Red/White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks
Note: some sources show Rep replaced by Swart in the 80th minute, but match reports name Cruyff as the one being substituted.




January 24, 1973
Amsterdamsche Football Club Ajax (Holland) 3-Rangers Football Club-Glasgow (Scotland) 2
Super Cup- Second Leg
Venue: Amsterdam- Olympisch Stadion
Attendance: 40,000
Referee: Hans-Joachim Weyland (West Germany)
Goalscorers: (Ajax): Arie Haan 12th, Gerry Mühren 37pen, Johan Cruijff 79th
  (Rangers): Alex MacDonald 2nd, Quinton Young 35th
                    
Lineups:
Ajax:
1-Heinz Stuy; 3-Wim Suurbier, 4-Barry Hulshoff; 12-Horst Blankenburg (West Germany), 5-Ruud Krol, 15-Arie Haan; 7-Johann  Neeskens, 9-Gerry Mühren,
8-Sjaak Swart (16-Johnny Rep 46th), 14-Johan Cruijff, 11-Piet Keizer

Coach: Stefan Kovacs (Romania)
Team Captain: Johan Cruijff
Uniform Colors: Red/White Shirts, White Shorts, White Socks

Rangers Glasgow:
1-Peter McCloy; 2-Sandy Jardine, 3-Willie Mathieson; 4-John Greig, 5-Derek Johnstone, 6-David Smith; 12-Tommy McLean, 8-Tom Forsyth, 9-Derek Parlane, 10-Alex MacDonald, 11-Quinton Young

Coach: Jock Wallace
Team Captain: John Greig
Uniform Colors: Blue Shirts , White Shorts, Red Socks


References:
(Special thanks to @oldrangerspics without who is responsible for the source material and the photos for this entry)
Rangers News, Issue 77, January 24,1 973
Glasgow Herald, January 17, 1973 (‘Rangers Beaten without dishonour by Ajax Thoroughbreds’ by Ian Archer)
Glasgow Herald, January 25, 1973 (Honour and Respect for Rangers despite Second Ajax Victory’ By Ian Archer)

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