The 2016 Copa America hosted by USA saw Chile retain their title after defeating Argentina 4-2 in a penalty shootout in Sunday’s final. It was Argentina’s third straight final loss after suffering heartbreaks to Germany at the Brazil 2014 World Cup and hosts Chile in the 2015 Copa America.
Following the Argentines’ disappointment, Completesportsnigeria.com’s JAMES AGBEREBI reveals FIVE teams who have also lost in consecutive major finals…
WEST GERMANY 2-1 Netherlands (1974 WORLD CUP FINAL)
The Netherlands thrilled everyone with their brand of football known as “Total Football” as they went all the way to the final of the 1974 FIFA World Cup in West Germany.
Led by the late Johan Cruyff, Netherlands saw off the likes of Argentina, Brazil, Bulgaria and Uruguay to make it to their first ever World Cup final.
Unfortunately, the Netherlands couldn’t end a wonderful World Cup campaign on a winning note as they lost 2-1 to hosts West Germany.
Johan Neeskens gave the Netherlands the lead from the penalty spot in the second minute, only for Paul Breitner to equalise for West Germany with another penalty in the 25th minute.
And in the 43rd minute Gerd Müller scored the winning goal, to secure West Germany’s second FIFA World Cup.
ARGENTINA 3-1 NETHERLANDS (1978 WORLD CUP FINAL)
Without their influential skipper Cruyff, who declined to feature at the 1978 World Cup in Argentina, Netherlands still managed to progress all the way to the final.
And just like in 1974, the Netherlands suffered another final heartbreak after losing 3-1 to hosts Argentina.
Mario Kempes gave Argentina a first half lead when he scored in the 38th minute before Dick Nanninga’s equaliser eight minutes from time sent the game into extra-time.
Argentina went on to score two more goals on 105 and 115 minutes through Kempes and Daniel Bertoni to end the game 3-1.
SPAIN 1-0 NETHERLANDS (2010 WORLD CUP FINAL)
The 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa saw the Netherlands make their third final appearance. Once again they came short, this time losing 1-0 in extra-time to first time finalists Spain.
The only goal of the game was scored by Andres Iniesta with four minutes remaining in extra-time.
Prior to Iniesta’s goal, John Heitinga was sent off on 109 minutes after receving a second yellow card.
CAMEROON 3-1 NIGERIA (1984 AFCON FINAL)
After winning the 1980 Africa Cup of Nations on home soil, Nigeria were in the final once again in the 1984 edition in Cote d’Ivoire and squared off against Cameroon.
Late Muda Lawal shot Nigeria into the lead in the 10th minute before Rene N’Djeya drew Cameroon level on 32 minutes.
And in the 79th and 84th minute, goals from Theophile Abega and Ernest Ebongue gave Cameroon a 3-1 win and their first ever AFCON title.
CAMEROON 1-0 NIGERIA (1988 AFCON FINAL)
Nigeria returned to the AFCON in Maroc 1988 after missing the 1986 edition in Egypt and made it to the final.
Waiting for them in the final was Cameroon, who pipped them 1-0 thanks to Emmanuel Kunde’s 55th minute penalty after Roger Milla was fouled inside the 18-yard box.
Both teams had played 1-1 in the group stage with Samuel Okwaraji scoring for Nigeria.
ALGERIA 1-0 NIGERIA (1990 AFCON FINAL)
A Nigerian team largely made up of home-based players qualified for the final of the Algiers 1990 AFCON final, their third in the last four editions.
Facing hosts Algeria who were seeking their first ever AFCON title, Nigeria lost 1-0 following Cherif Oudjani’s 38th minute strike.
Algeria had earlier thrashed Nigeria 5-1 in the tournament’s opening game.
In spite of these setbacks, Nigeria have gone on to win two more AFCON titles. They were crowned champions in Tunisia 1994 and South Africa 2013.
COTE D’IVOIRE 11-10 GHANA, ON PENALTIES (1992 AFCON FINAL)
Ghana had to wait till 1992 in Senegal before qualifying for the AFCON final after winning the 1982 edition in Libya.
Unfortunately, Ghana, without their suspended captain Abedi Pele, were beaten in the final after losing 11-10 in a penalty shootout to Cote d’Ivoire.
Both teams failed to find the back of the net after 120 minutes of football.
EGYPT 1-0 GHANA (2010 AFCON FINAL)
The 2010 edition of the AFCON was held in Angola with a young Ghanaian side going up against then reigning champions Egypt.
Prior to getting to the final, Ghana had knocked out hosts Angola 1-0 in the quarter-final before seeing off Nigeria 1-0 in the semi-final.
But in the final, the experience of the Egyptians came through as Mohamed Nagy scored in the 85th minute to end the game 1-0 and leave Ghana heartbroken.
COTE D’IVOIRE 9-8 GHANA, ON PENALTIES (2015 AFCON FINAL)
Both Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire met in the 2015 AFCON final in Equatorial Guinea after their first meeting in Senegal 1992.
Cote d’Ivoire would go on to have the last laugh as they triumphed 9-8 via penalty shootout after a stalemate in regulation time.
The last time Ghana won the AFCON was in Libya 1982, which was their fourth title.
EGYPT 4-2 COTE D’IVOIRE, ON PENALTIES (2006 AFCON FINAL)
Cote d’Ivoire made their second appearance in the final of the AFCON since their first appearance in Senegal 1992.
With a star-studded side that had the likes of Didier Drogba, Kolo Toure, Yaya Toure, Emmanuel Eboue and Bakary Kone, Cote d’Ivoire defeated Cameroon in the quarter-finals and Nigeria in the semis enroute the final.
But in the final, after a goalless 120 minutes, Egypt won 4-2 on penalties.
ZAMBIA 8-7 COTE D’IVOIRE, ON PENALTIES (2012 AFCON FINAL)
Going into the final of the 2012 AFCON co-hosted by Equatorial Guinea and Gabon, Cote d’Ivoire were heavily tipped for the title against unfancied Zambia.
Cote d’Ivoire dominated throughout the encounter but could not score. Even a second half penalty that was awarded to Cote d’Ivoire was missed by Didier Drogba.
The game went into penalties and Zambia emerged 8-7 victors and were crowned African champions for the very first time.
Meanwhile, Cote d’Ivoire have put the disappointment of the 2006 and 2012 AFCON finals behind them after defeating Ghana in last year’s final in Equatorial Guinea.
FRANCE 2-0 BRAZIL (1984 OLYMPIC FOOTBALL FINAL)
Brazil qualified for their first ever final in the men’s football event of the Olympics in Los Angeles 1984.
But it was disappointment at the end of the day as France went on to win 2-0 to clinch the gold medal.
Francois Brisson opened the scoring for France in the 55th minute before Daniel Xuereb netted the winner in the 60th minute.
SOVIET UNION 2-1 BRAZIL (1988 OLYMPIC FOOTBALL FINAL)
A Brazil side that paraded top stars like Romario, Bebeto, Careca and Claudio Taffarel were favourites to win the gold medal in the men’s football event at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul.
But it wasn’t to be as they lost 2-1 after extra-time to the Soviet Union (Russia).
Romario gave Brazil the lead in the 30th minute before Igor Drobrovolski made it 1-1 from the penalty spot on 61 minutes.
And in the 103 minute of extra-time Yuri Savichev scored the second goal to subject Brazil to another Olympics final defeat.
MEXICO 2-1 BRAZIL (2012 OLYMPIC FOOTBALL FINAL)
After winning bronze at the Atlanta 1996 and Beijing 2008 Olympics, Brazil made it all the way to the final in London 2012 Olympic Games.
In the final against Mexico, Brazil found themselves behind in the first minute after a mistake from former Manchester United defender Raphael, saw Oribe Peralta capitalise to open the scoring.
With 15 minutes remaining, Peralta grabbed Mexico’s second, to make it 2-0.
In the 91st minute Hulk reduced the deficit, but it was too little too late as Mexico held on to win their first men’s Olympic football gold medal.
Culled from Completesports
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