One day one match (03/16/1999): OL 2 - 0 Bologna, so close to progressing
21 years ago to the day, Olympique Lyonnais awaited the Italian side Bologna at the Stade Gerland for the return leg in the quarterfinals of the UEFA Cup after being heavily beaten by three goals to nil away to their transalpine neighbors. The supporters as well as the players knew it would take a big achievement to qualify for the last four. Bernard Lacombe, the mythical figure of the Rhone club, was then coach and arrived with his side for this meeting more ambitious than ever, in front of, that evening, some 40,000 spectators present in what appeared to be the cradle of Lyon football.
The players were up for the challenge from the start, notably with Alain Caveglia (17 goals in 29 games this season). "Cavegoal" gave their team the advantage just past the quarter-hour (1-0, 16 ’). The Gerland was ecstatic, pushing its team onward and began to believe in its chances of qualification. OL wanted to pass this round and showed their desire for it by playing attractive football. Joseph-Désiré Job, moreover, doubled the lead at five minutes from the break (2-0, 40 ’). The "Nanard" players return to the locker room with a smile and knowing that the job had to be finished in the second half.
16 mars 1999 : OL 2 bologne 0 (C3)— Stephane (@OL_HISTOIRE) March 16, 2017
ALAIN CAVEGLIA !
GERLAND chavire. pic.twitter.com/ZJFgunqSm5
Unfortunately for Lyon, the breakthrough couldn't be found against a well-organized Bologna team. Despite an impeccable mental approach to the game, OL's players saw Florent Laville receive a second yellow card at the end of the game. He then leaves his teammats playing at ten against eleven. Referee Manuel Diaz Vega whistled the final whistle on the score of two goals to zero. Lyon were devastated because they know they have come close to a fantastic result.
Jean-Michel Aulas' club will have to wait until 2010 for this time to reach the last four of a European cup, in the Champions League against Bayern Munich.