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1986/87: IFK back on top

1986/87: IFK back on top

IFK Göteborg 1-0 Dundee United FC
(Pettersson 38)
Dundee United FC 1-1 IFK Göteborg
(Nilsson 22; Clark 60)
(agg: 2-1 to IFK)

Football's underdogs had their day in 1986/87. FC Porto won the European Champion Clubs' Cup, AFC Ajax the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and IFK Göteborg the UEFA Cup. It was in this last competition, however, that they barked loudest and longest.

While the Swedish side had lifted the trophy before, in 1982, few expected them to emerge from a quarter-final against Internazionale FC. But the Italian side succumbed on the away-goals' rule, putting Göteborg in the last four. Here the Blåvitt resumed normal service, showing the form that had accounted for SK Sigma Olomouc, BSV Brandenburg and KAA Gent to despatch FC Tirol Innsbruck 5-1 on aggregate. Their final opponents were another set of unlikely lads, Dundee United FC.

Jim McLean's side had raised eyebrows as well as roofs when beating FC Barcelona home and away in the quarter-finals. They then surprised VfL Mönchengladbach to suggest they could join Celtic FC, Rangers FC and Aberdeen FC on Scotland's European roll of honour. In the event, they would claim only FIFA's Fair Play award. Stefan Pettersson's first-half header at the Ullevi stadium proved decisive as Göteborg held out for a draw in the return at Tannadice Park. Lennart Nilsson and John Clark were the scorers - extending IFK's unbeaten run in the tournament to 25 games.