Penalty Shoot-out Crowned Galatasaray with UEFA Cup

Published May 18th, 2000 - 02:00 GMT

Turkey's Galatasaray conquered England's Arsenal 4-1 in a penalty shootout and celebrated the historical moment of lifting up the first ever UEFA cup in Turkey's soccer history. 

Arsenal's Croatian substitute Davor Suker clearly felt the pressure seeing his kick come off the post, while their French World Cup winning midfielder Patrick Vieira hit the bar with the third, leaving Romanian Gheorghe Popescu to wrap up the victory with a successful shot. This sparked scenes of jubilation at the Galatasaray end while the Arsenal side of the ground emptied almost immediately. 

The nastiness of the pitch spilled over within three minutes into extra time when Gheorghe Hagi was sent off for retaliation after the clash with Tony Adams, who was booked for his part in the incident. 

After the match Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed that his decision to bring on Suker as a substitute had backfired. 

"I knew Suker was a penalty taker so I brought him on," said the Frenchman. "(Dennis) Bergkamp was not happy to come off but that is normal." 

Hagi's dismissal did not help the Gunners, Wenger maintained. 

"Sometimes when you play 10 against 11 you defend better and you dig in. So I think it was not a huge advantage when Hagi was sent off." 

Hagi, 35, had rolled back the years with some vintage skill but was clearly unhappy about his sending-off, saying: "It was the first real foul of the match. It was a very important decision and gave a great advantage to our opponents. But it did not matter because our team was strong. I am going to celebrate now and decide on my future afterwards." 

The Golden Goal did not come but Galatasaray, whose coach Terim said his team were not planning on extra-time and penalties, were unerring from the penalty spot. 

 

 

ELEVEN INJURED IN GALATASARAY CELEBRATION IN TURKEY 

 

As expected the day did not end like it should have with chaotic fans outside and stray bullets hitting eleven people early Thursday as Turks celebrated Galatasaray's UEFA cup final victory.  

Nine people, including three children, were injured in Istanbul and two in the southern city of Adana as Turks practiced their notorious tradition of celebration by firing shots into the air, despite warnings from officials. 

Mothers with young children fled screaming in terror as hooligans attacked each other with knives, clubs and bottles in horrifying scenes in Copenhagen's main square. 

Three of those injured in Istanbul were said to be in critical condition. 

Streets across the country turned into instant carnival venues with thousands of adults and children waving red and gold Galatasaray and Turkish banners after their ten-men team beat England's Arsenal.  

The Danish police seemed hopelessly out of their depth and outnumbered in trying to quell the trouble between drink-fuelled fans (Several Sources) 

 

© 2000 Al Bawaba (www.albawaba.com)

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