FC Porto's only previous UEFA Super Cup appearance brought a victory over AFC Ajax.
By Pete Sanderson
FC Porto may not have AC Milan's history when it comes to the UEFA Super Cup - but at least they can claim they are going into this year's final having never lost in the competition.
The Portuguese side are back for a second crack at the competition as UEFA Cup victors and will take on UEFA Champions League holders and three-time Super Cup winners Milan in Monaco on 29 August. And Porto can take heart from their one previous appearance in the competition, in 1987/88, which ended in victory.
They went into the game full of confidence, having the previous season captured the imagination of Europe on their way to overcoming FC Bayern München in the European Champion Clubs' Cup final in Vienna.
Porto trailed 1-0 in the first half and were struggling to muster a goal against their stubborn opponents. But Porto coach Arthur Jorge shuffled his pack at the interval, replacing midfield player Quim with the Brazilian forward Juary, a regular substitute for the Portuguese side.
That was the cue for Porto to hit back in style and they got their reward on 77 minutes. Juary broke into the Bayern area and crossed for Algerian striker Rabah Madjer to score a magnificent back-heeled goal.
Four minutes later, Madjer returned the favour. His delivery from the left was bettered only by the right-foot volley that met it as Juary struck the goal that sent Porto into raptures - as well as earning them a Super Cup berth.
UEFA Cup Winners' Cup winners AFC Ajax, who had won the Super Cup's first official match in 1973/74 against Milan, awaited in what was then a two-legged encounter. Visiting Amsterdam for the first leg on 24 November 1987, Porto took no chances as they deployed a defensive formation that frustrated both the home team and their 22,000-odd fans.
Coached by former Ajax supremo Tomislav Ivic, Porto's tactics bore fruit as they took a fifth-minute lead through Rui Barros, and soaked up all the home pressure. Porto even went close on the counterattack as the match went on, but they had done enough to ensure a 1-0 lead for the second leg back in Portugal.
With victory in sight, 50,000 people gathered at Das Antas on 13 January 1988 for the return - just ten days after Johan Cruyff's resignation as Ajax coach.
Ajax deployed 18-year-old defender Danny Hesp, who had been a ball boy in the first leg. Hesp impressed, but the result was the same as in Amsterdam, as 20 minutes from time António Sousa's spectacular goal ensured a 2-0 aggregate victory for Porto's disciplined young team.
Spectacular 12 months
It marked a spectacular 12 months for Porto, who had already won the European/South American Cup against CA Peñarol in December 1987 to add to their European Cup, and went on to complete the Portuguese domestic double that season.
This year Porto are again targetting a five-trophy haul, having already claimed the Portuguese league, cup and super cup along with the UEFA Cup triumph that earned them a place in Monaco. Another performance like that against Ajax, and the Porto's trophy cabinet will again be bulging.