The Intercontinental Cup was played in Tokyo on December 17, 1989. AC Milan against Atletico Nacional. Both newcomers for the Japanese public.
Tradition suggested Italian victory. The Colombians were feeling cold, they were quite unknown internationally, even accidental, so famous Milan full of world-class stars should have no trouble beating Atletico Nacional even without Gullit.
But the intercontinental clash had its own tradition… and no matter how good an European team at the moment, their South American opponents were even or better.
This clash was no exception.
Atletico Medelin not only neutralized mighty Milan, but looked more dangerous.
The Colombians fought by every legal or illegal mean and Milan suffered, even its best players unable to prevail and finding themselves often tackled down.
Somehow the underdog managed to stay in the game and nobody scored a goal. The regular time ended 0-0.
Call it determination, call it pure luck, call it typical Italian football… it was at the very end of the extra time, when penalty shoot-out seemed sure, when Milan got a free kick and the substitute Evani was chosen to try his luck.
He managed to curve the ball around the wall and in the net. 1-0 in the 119th minute.
There was no time for anything else, it was victory!
Tokyo, National Stadium
December 17, 1989 Att: 60,228 Ref: Fredriksson (SWE)
Milan AC (ITA) 1-0 (0-0) aet Atl. Nacional Medellín (COL)
1-0 119′ Evani
AC Milan: Galli – Tassotti, Maldini, Fuser (65′ Evani), Costacurta, Baresi, Donadoni, Van Basten, Ancelotti, Rijkaard, Massaro (70′ Simone)
Atl. Nacional: Higuita – Escobar, Gómez, Cassiani, Herrera, Pérez, Arango (46′ Restrepo), Alvarez, Alboleda (46′ Usuriaga), García, Trellez
Franco Baresi lifted the Toyota Cup.
Alberigo Evani received the goal-scoring trophy – a brand new Toyota to fly home.
Milan started their triumphal round.
The players honoured the man behind their success – Arrigo Sacchi.
Milan won and ended 1989 triumphant.
Atletico Nacional (Medellin) lost. In a way, too bad – it was unfortunate loss and would have been nicer if the underdog won. But on the other hand… Milan was the classier team and scored a goal, unlike the Colombians. Also, a victory of a club related to the Colombian drug mafia would not have been pretty… better Berlusconi than the notorious Medellin clan. No matter – it was good effort, the boys stood their ground, did whatever they could, there was no shame. Only bitterness of the chancy way they lost.
Milan confirmed they were the best in the world even without Gullit. Nobody could doubt the greatness of this vintage – they won all international trophies this year. Certainly they were going to stay on top, a new dynasty shaping the football world and its development. Milan was back to the greatness it enjoyed in the 1960s and won its second Intercontinental Cup. 20 years passed from their first victory in 1969, the tournament was changed and called concurrently the Toyota Cup, so Milan won for the first time this format played in Tokyo – in a sense, climbing one more peak.