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AFC - Match Report
match report 1972-73 fixture list
North American Summer Tour 
Montreal Olympics 0 - 1 Aberdeen Abandoned
    Abandoned after 65 mins.
Kick Off:          Harper (Pen)  
Attendance: 2,181
Venue: Université de Montréal, Montreal
Fans halt Olympics' match
What should have been a routine friendly descended into a riot after the Dons were awarded a penalty kick. The crowd had been increasingly unhappy about refereeing decisions going against their team and began to hurl missiles onto the pitch. They also tried to get over the perimeter fence but fortunately failed and the match was abandoned after 62 minutes. Missiles ranged from stones and cans to a dustbin and a handbag.

This was the match where Jimmy Bonthrone famously spotted a 19 year old Graeme Souness playing for Montreal on loan from Spurs. Bonthrone made strenuous efforts to sign the player but he ended up moving to Middlesbrough.

of The Gazette

Sometime late last night, referee Stan Tate emerged from the bowels of University of Montreal Stadium, checked to see that the coast was clear and then rushed to his car and locked himself in. Maybe, even the two cops from car 152 accompanied him. All Tate did last night was call a foul against Luigi Mascalaito, Olympics' new recruit front Verona, a First Division team from Italy. Aberdeen of Scotland scored on the ensuing penalty kick, and the reaction of the highly partisan crowd of 2,181 was such that the game had to be called.

Seconds after Joe Harper scored during the 61st minute, fans began hurling debris down on the officials. Some threw shoes, others paper cups and one fan even tossed down a suitcase. There was even a fight among spectators occupying seats on the side of the field bordering the mountain.
The fight started, said Peter Clabrough, an Olympic fan, "when a couple of fans got rocks from the side of the mountain and started throwing them at the officials. Another group of supporters tried to stop them and that's when it broke out."
At that point, the players and officials left the field for their dressing quarters. A half hour later, the crowd was still hostile and the game was called.
This was Mascalaito's first appearance at home, and it was obvious from the ovation he received at the start that he was the new darling of the fans. Every time he touched the ball, he was cheered. and deservedly so - he was that good.
But then came the foul. Mascalaito interfered with Aberdeen's Dave Robb who was crowding Olympics' goalkeeper Sam Nusum while the latter was attempting to kick the ball up field. Tate ruled that Mascalaito pushed Robb, and the rule states that a player is not allowed to touch an opponent with any part of his body while the ball is in play. And it was obvious Mascalaito did just that.
But Mascalaito said he didn't touch Robb - he merely tried to pry the Aberdeen player away from Nusum. "No," said the reed-thin Italian, twitching his mod mustache. "I did not touch him - I swear on my two sons."
Then Mascaliato added: "In international rules, a player cannot touch a goalkeeper."
But a source close to the scene said "there were a good two yards between the Aberdeen player and Nusum. The goalie had sufficient time to kick the ball or throw it."

Source: Montreal Gazette - June 8,1972 (Page 35)

Aberdeen's tour was starting to wind down. The final trip north of the border was for a match against the Montreal Olympics (or Montréal Olympique as the team was known by Montreal's French-speaking contingent).

With a poor run of form during which the Dons went winless in four straight games finally broken in New York, Aberdeen hoped to bookend the tour with winning runs. They would be facing a Montreal team that featured Greame Souness, who was on loan from Tottenham but hadn't made a senior appearance in his career up to this point. After watching his performance, manager Jimmy Bonthrone would attempt to sign him after he failed to secure a place in Spurs' line-up, but Souness opted for Middlesbrough instead and the rest, as they say, is history.
The other prominent loan player for Montreal was centre back Luigi Mascalaito, who was in the twilight of his career and on loan from Verona. (Two years later he became Verona's manager after having retired at age 34.) This match was his first in front of the Montreal faithful and he made an immediate impact. Mascalaito was adored by the fans who cheered every time he touched the ball, and they would also become incensed when decisions didn't go his way. This instant love affair goes a long way towards explaining the big story that came out of this tight 1-0 Aberdeen victory.
George Buchan would come on for the Dons in the 64th minute, but he never got a touch. Here's why: In the 65th minute, Davie Robb was standing in front of Olympics 'keeper Sam Nusom while the goalkeeper was trying to distribute the ball. Mascalaito believed that Robb was bending the rules and tried to pry Robb away from Nusom. Mascalaito claimed innocence - "I did not touch him," he said. "I swear on my two sons." However, Robb saw things differently by explicitly stating he was pushed. The referee agreed with Robb's version of events and awarded a penalty to Aberdeen.
The fans were incensed. After Joe Harper tucked home the penalty, missiles started raining down on the pitch. Anything from bins to suitcases, shoes to glass bottles. All the players took cover to protect themselves. Half an hour later the crowd was still angry and the match was abandoned. This marked the second time a match was prematurely terminated on the tour (the first being the game against Somerset Trojans). The fracas nearly cost Montreal's place in the North American Soccer League (NASL), but sanctions ultimately were not that severe.
Match abandoned after 65 minutes: Aberdeen-1 Montreal Olympics-0.

Aberdeen would next be heading back to the United States for their final game, to be held two days later in Boston. Montreal played in Toronto later in the week and beat the Toronto squad that held Aberdeen to a 0-0 draw.

Author:George Pirie

N.B. The programme on show here was presented to The Aberdeen Collection by David Klimek of Quebec, who as an 11 year old was at the match.
Montreal Olympics Teamsheet: 


Aberdeen Abandoned Teamsheet: 


Referee: Stan Tate

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