Black Stars midfielder Thomas Teye Partey was an 87th minute substitute in Atletico Madrid’s 3-0 win over Olympique Marseille in the final of the 2017/2018 Uefa Europa League.
Played at Parc Olympique Lyonnais in France, the final saw most of the Marseille fans in replica jerseys of the 1993 European triumph by their club.
But their expectations began to wane firstly with an elementary defensive error by Cameroonian international Zambo Anguissa.
His control of veteran goalkeeper Steve Mandanda’s hard-hit pass failed him, giving dangerman Antoine Griezmann a perfect opportunity to punish his opponents.
It was in the 21st minute.
Marseille’s woes were deepened after marksman Dimitri Payet had to be substituted early by Rudi Garcia after he pulled a hamstring.
There was little opening for the French giants to find the equalizer in the first half.
Atleti began the second half probably buoyed by locker-room talks by manager Diego Simeone, who is serving a four-match touchline ban by Uefa.
His side, which dropped from this year’s Uefa Champions League, doubled the lead through Griezmann in the 49th minute.
They continued to dominate play until Garcia brought in Kostas Mitroglou, whose glancing header – later in the game – beat Jan Oblak but hit the goal post.
After a double substitution by Los Indios, which saw Partey and Juanfran come on for Angel Correa and Sime Vrsaljko respectively, the final goal was scored.
A quick counter was completed by captain Gabi, who is a former teammate of manager Simeone.
Another player who played alongside the Argentine while he was a player, Fernando Torres, was the final substitution but he could not register his name on the score sheet as the game still ended 3-0.
It is Los Rojiblancos’s third triumph in Europe’s second-tier club competition after 2010 and 2012.
By Emmanuel Kwame Amoh|3news.com|Ghana
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