Flashback: 1977, King Pelé’s New York Cosmos destroyed Franck Civil’s Victory SC

Credit photo : NASL jerseys

By Mythsouka Jean-Philippe

In the past, Haitian football was the scene of great epic clashes between local clubs and renowned foreign teams, thus enriching the landscape of international football.

These matches were marked by the presence of world-class players, capturing the attention of crowds and capturing the imagination of fans across the country. These historic moments, where Haitian teams competed against some of the best teams in the world, are etched in the collective memory of Haitian football, symbolizing the passion, competitiveness and exceptional talent that characterized this glorious era of sport in the country.Img 20240513 Wa0310

On April 2, 1977, Haitian football lovers were in turmoil as King Pelé’s New York Cosmos, who came from Italy after a legendary victory against Lazio of Rome, faced Franck Civil’s Victory SC during the prestigious Champions Tournament. . The stadium, filled with 7,212 fired-up fans, was ready for a night of spectacle.

From the kick-off, the Cosmos took control of the match with unfailing determination. Led by their stars, including the legendary Pelé, they quickly imposed their rhythm and domination on the pitch.

The goals started to rain from the first minutes, with an avalanche of talent from the Cosmos. Giorgio Chinaglia led the charge with four spectacular goals, while Pelé added two more goals to his impressive tally. Tony Field (English), Terry Garbett (English) and Jomo Sono (South African) also got their names on the scoreboard, each with a goal to their name.

Meanwhile, Victory SC struggled to find an answer to the Cosmos’ relentless onslaught. Despite the efforts of their goalkeeper, Wilfrid Guillaume, and their strong team, they were overwhelmed by the offensive force of their opponents.

The Victory SC roster included Wilfrid Guillaume as goalkeeper, Guy Allen, Edouard Carosco, Blasmith Phylémond, Himmler Marcellus, Gary Perrin, Lesly Jean-Baptiste, Yves Joseph, Jean-Michel Malenkov, Raymond Gilot and Olindo Guzman but even their talent wasn’t there. was not enough to counter the power of the Cosmos that day.

At the end of the 90 minutes, Victory SC was decisively defeated, with a final score of 9-0 in favor of the Cosmos. A crushing victory which confirmed the supremacy of the Cosmos in this tournament and which sent a strong message to their rivals.

However, the Cosmos’ triumph was short-lived. Despite the cheers of 11,098 enthusiastic fans, the Cosmos lost 2-1 to the Tampa Bays Rowdies, losing the coveted title. As for the Haitians, they finished their second match counting for third place 0-0 against Toronto Metros Croatia who had previously been beaten 2-1 by the Tampa Bay Rowdies.

These great clashes between legendary teams like the New York Cosmos still resonate in the memory of Haitian football, evoking an era of passion and intense competition. As fans remember these historic moments, a touch of nostalgia sets in, recalling the importance of these meetings for the identity and heritage of football in Haiti. These timeless memories will continue to inspire future generations, perpetuating the richness and greatness of sport in the country.

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