Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

You Can Say: I Was There

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

You Can Say: I Was There

Article excerpt

Byline: Anthony Vickers

On the night there was a miracle at the Riverside

IT WAS the Miracle of the Riverside, an achievement beyond all logic that has the whole of Teesside believing. WE CAN WIN THIS!

After an incredible night of drama, passion and steel, bubbling Boro have put themselves on the verge of history.

Our team of awesome heroes ripped up the script and came storming back from the dead on an unforgettable night at the Riverside Stadium to somehow win through to the UEFA Cup semi-final with Steaua Bucharest.

Boro went into the game looking to overturn a two goal deficit and when the Swiss scored - in Europe away goals count double - it left Steve McClaren's men needing to score four in an hour.

And what an hour! Urged on by the raw passion of the full-throated Riverside crowd Boro piled forward in dogged pursuit of the European dream.

They surged forward in cavalier red waves and threw everything into ever more urgent attacks and boss Steve McClaren betrayed his every defensive instinct and put on every striker he had in a desperate bid to claw it back.

Boro launched an all-out onslaught that had the whole of Teesside - and the watching nation - totally gripped.

Boro pulled a goal back through Aussie hitman Mark Viduka and that elusive victory became an outside possibility that only the wild eyed optimists thought could actually be realised.

Another strike from the Aussie cranked up the emotional intensity as Boro grabbed a lifeline and the surge of belief gripped the Riverside.

Then Dutch master Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink got a third to drag Boro level, open the door to history and set up a barn-storming finale that was to cause hysteria and palpitations in the stadium, in pubs and clubs and in living rooms throughout Teesside.

The tension was unbearable. …

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