RSC Anderlecht 1-0 SL Benfica
SL Benfica 1-1 RSC Anderlecht
(Lozano 38; Shéu 36)
(agg: 2-1 to Anderlecht)
Fifteen years after their last appearance in a European final, SL Benfica were back. The celebrated Lisbon club had grabbed destiny by the lapels with the appointment, the previous summer, of Sven-Göran Eriksson. The Swedish coach had just led IFK Göteborg to the UEFA Cup, and was able to repeat the alchemy in Lisbon ... well almost. While Benfica captured their domestic league and cup, continental glory proved rather more elusive.
Following wins over Real Betis Balompié, Sporting Lokeren St-Niklaas Waasland and FC Zürich, Eriksson's men edged past AS Roma in the quarter-finals, then overcame FC Universitatea Craiova on away goals in the semis. With international stars Zoran Filipovic and Glenn Stromberg in the side, they were strongly tipped to finish the job against RSC Anderlecht in the final. A narrow defeat in Brussels did little to change that view; Danish international Kenneth Brylle scoring the only goal at the Heysel stadium.
Yet Anderlecht also knew a thing or two about winning: Paul van Himst's team had thrashed Benfica's rivals FC Porto in the second round, and dominated CF Valencia home and away in the last eight. So perhaps it was not such a surprise when Juan Lozano's 38th-minute equaliser gave the Belgian side a 1-1 draw at the Da Luz stadium and a 2-1 aggregate triumph. For Anderlecht, it was a third European trophy in four attempts.