Fog that saved Milan

7 Dec

photo: redstarbelgrade.info

It’s kinda sad to be Red Star fan at the moment. The club is at its lowest point in history, and it doesn’t look like that could change any time soon. Except maybe for worse. So, what is left to us then remember how good we were back in the day?
This was the first game I remember watching. Except, I don’t really remember it, which is normal since I was 5 years old at the time. Rather than remember anything about the game,  I simply remember watching it with my dad. I remember the fog. Everyone remembers the fog that saved Milan. And I remember, for some reason, Angelo Colombo. It was a legendary match, one of those that are talked about decades after.  Even though hardly anything could be seen because of the fog. Milan was the best team in Europe [and have won Champions Cup that and the next year], Red Star was in the process of becoming that – it was Red Star that won Champions Cup after 2 years of Milan domination. 

Milan had players like Baresi, Costacurta, Galli, Maldini, Donadoni,  Rijkaard, Gullit, Van Basten… and Colombo – for some reason, he was the one that stuck in my head the most, I thought for long that he was absolutely the best player ever, just because his last name sounded cool. First match on San Siro ended 1:1. Stojkovic scored for Red Star, Virdis equalized a minute later.

Second leg was played on Wednesday, November 9th 1988. Marakana was packed, there was 97.000 people on the stands. Red Star dominated, had all the chances, Milan looked totally lost. When Savićević [later to become Milan legend] scored, it looked like Milan is done. But, the fog was so thick that Milan players begged the referee Pauly to suspend the match. It was said that Pauly later commented: I couldn’t bare watching grown men cry and beg me to suspend the game. The game was stopped at 62nd minute. It was to be played again the next day, but not from 63rd minute and with 1:0 for Red Star, but from the very beginning. This time, Red Star couldn’t play as good as the night before. Still, it took penalties for Milan to eliminate Yugoslav champions. Galli saved 2 [Savicevic and Mrkela] and Milan went on to win the Cup. Baresi said 20 years later that Red Star was one of the toughest teams that Milan has faced, and they were very lucky that the game had to be suspended.

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