FAIRYTALE: Chelsea, Denmark, Other Teams Who Achieved ‘Impossible’ Feats Like Sundowns 

FAIRYTALE: Chelsea, Denmark, Other Teams Who Achieved ‘Impossible’ Feats Like Sundowns 

 

Mamelodi Sundowns were crowned champions of the CAF Champions League after beating Egyptian giants Zamalek 3-1 on aggregate on Sunday.

 

What makes Sundowns achievement interesting was that they were eliminated in the preliminary rounds of the 2016 CAF Champions League, but were placed back in the competition after Congolese team Vita Club were expelled for fielding a suspended player.

 

In this piece, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI takes a look at five teams who against the odds still went on to achieve greatness…

 

 

 

 

DENMARK (1992 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP)

 

Unfancied Denmark shocked the football world when they emerged champions of the 1992 European Championship in Sweden.

 

What made their adventure remarkable was that Denmark finished runners-up behind Yugoslavia during the qualifiers but were asked to replace Yugoslavia who were embroiled in a serious civil war.

 

Having managed to scrape through from the group stage behind hosts Sweden, it was generally believed that the Danes had reached their final bus-stop when they faced defending champions the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

 

But after 120 minutes the game was tied at 2-2, Denmark eventually triumphed 5-4 and qualified for the final.

 

And in the final against world champions Germany, Denmark shocked their illustrious opponents 2-0 to claim their first ever senior major title.

 

 

 

GREECE (2004 EUROPEAN CHAMPIONSHIP)

 

Greece qualifying for the 2004 European Championship in Portugal was a surprise to many. Going on to win it was a feat that left not a few in shock.

 

After managing to qualify into the quarter-finals, the fairytale run was supposed to end when Greece confronted defending champions France in the last eight but they stunned the Zinedine Zidane-led side 1-0.

 

In the semi-final, they broke the hearts of a wonderfully entertaining Czech Republic side 1-0 in extra-time, before putting hosts nation Portugal into national mourning by beating them 1-0 to become Kings of Europe.

 

 

 

ZAMBIA (AFCON 2012)

 

Prior to winning the 2012 Africa Cup of Nations in Equatorial Guiena and Gabon, Zambia had gone close on two occassions to winning the continent's biggest competition in 1974 and 1994.

 

They eventually got their hands on the trophy in 2012 despite being ranked outsiders.

 

What made their run to the title interesting was the fact that they had to do it the hard way.

 

After finishing tops in a group that had Senegal, Equatorial Guinea and Libya, Zambia progressed into the semi-final following a 3-0 quarter-final win againt Sudan.

 

They met one of the favourites Ghana in the semi-final but edged them by a 1-0 win.

 

The final against a star-studded Cote d'Ivoire side was viewed as the end of the road. But Zambia had other ideas as they went on to become African champions for the very first time following a 8-7 penalty shootout win. 

 

 

 

 

CHELSEA (UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE 2012)

 

Chelsea's run to glory in the 2012 UEFA Champions League was one full of thorns. But they somehow found a way to overcome most of their adversities to land Europe's most prized trophy.

 

Chelsea had one of their worst seasons in the English Premier League as they finished fifth, outside of the Champions League qualifying spot but it did not matter in their unlikely quest for European glory.

 

Negotiating their way into the round of 16, Chelsea faced a difficult task going into the reverse fixture against Napoli after losing the first leg 3-1.

 

With the appointment of former player Roberto Di Matteo on an interim capacity, following the sacking of Andre Villas-Boas, the Blues were able to pull the chestnut out of the fire, winning 4-1.

 

They saw off Benfica in the quarter-finals and eliminated defending champions Barcelona in the semi-finals despite incessant pressure from the ultra-talented Lionel Messi and his crew.

 

Despite the final of the 2012 UEFA Champions League being played inside the Allianz Arena, home of Bayern Munich, Chelsea still went on to win 4-3 on penalties after 120 minutes ended 1-1.

 

 

 

 

ABERDEEN (UEFA CUP WINNERS'CUP 1983)

 

It would come as a surprise to many but Aberdeen remains the last Scottish club to a win a European trophy.

 

That feat came in the 1983 Cup Winners' Cup under the guidance of Britain's most successful manager Sir Alex Ferguson, who was then a young manager.

 

And what made the 1983 triumph unforgetful was that Aberdeen defeated almighty Real Madrid 2-1 in the final played in Gothenburg, Sweden to clinch the trophy.

 

Aberdeen went on to add the Super Cup with a 2-0 win over Hamburg that same year.

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    Smooyis 9 months

    In every thing it’s good show determination when it matters most.