Through "CONCACAF Retro" you will revisit the region's most memorable people, events and crowning achievements.
Club América wins double (CONCACAF Champions' Cup; Interamerican Cup)
Mexico's Club América became the first confederation side to earn the "double" in a single year as it won the delayed 1977 CONCACAF Champions' Cup and then captured the Interamerican Cup in 1978.
After winning seven overall Mexican league championships (amateur - four; professional - three), Club América, under the direction of Raul Cardenas, captured its first CONCACAF Champions' Cup title in its inaugural appearance by defeating host SV Robinhood of Surinam in the 1977 final series at Paramaribo's National Stadium.
In the first leg on Jan. 15, 1978, a second-half goal from Luis Alberto Da Costa (nicknamed "Luisinho") lifted the Águilas to a 1-0 victory over the Geen Strijd, Geen Kroon.
Three days later, in the second match, Errol Emanuelson thrust SV Robinhood into the lead.Hugo Kiese, however, equalized midway through the second half.
The game would end 1-1, a result that clinched the CONCACAF championship for Club América.
"It was absolutely important for us, as it was a bit of a challenge for us to travel for the first game so it was significantly important for us to become the confederation's champion," remembered Kiese, a native of Paraguay, who later became a Mexican citizen.
The Águilas' road to CONCACAF glory started by winning the 1975-76 Mexican league championship and qualifying for the Champions' Cup.They progressed to the finals on two forfeits after scheduled opponents New York Inter-Giuliana of USA (April 17, 1977) and Costa Rica's Deportivo Saprissa (December 10, 1977) withdrew from the event.
SV Robinhood, which finished as runner-up at the confederation tournament a year earlier, faced a tougher task in advancing to its third Champions' Cup final.After collecting its 10th Surinamese league title in 1976, the Geen Strijd, Geen Kroon eliminated Guyana's YMCA (Preliminary Round), SV Voorwaarts of Surinam (First Round), Haiti's Violette AC (Second Round) and TECSA of Trinidad & Tobago (Third Round) to set-up a series with Club América.
"That same team (SV Robinhood) had made it to other semifinals and were a good squad that functioned well," said Kiese, who was a member of the CONCACAF Executive Committee from 1998-2003."You could see from the results we (Club América) had against them, 1-0 and 1-1, that they were even and tough matches."
With the confederation crown under its belt, Club América went on to compete for the Interamerican Cup (Copa Interamericana) against CA Boca Juniors of Argentina, the winner of South America's Copa Libertadores.
After losing the first-leg 3-0 in Buenos Aires, Argentina (March 28, 1978), the Águilas won the return match (April 12, 1978) 1-0 at Mexico City's Estadio Azteca.Kiese was the hero once again, scoring the 75th minute game-winner.
"It was something extremely meaningful for us," Kiese related."We had lost the first game in Buenos Aires, so we had a great responsibility at home and Boca Juniors is a well known club.
"We knew we had to win and that's what we did in the second game with a goal I scored."
With the series even at one win apiece, a third game between the two champions was scheduled for two days later, also at the Azteca.
Club America triumphed in that decisive match 2-1 after extra time.Carlos Reinoso netted the game-winner via a last second free kick.
"We won the last game on the last play with a goal by Reinoso," added Kiese. "For us, winning the Interamericana was something very unique and very important for Club America, for Mexico and for CONCACAF, as it was the sort of news that traveled the world."
Since then, Club América, which owns the most Mexican league titles among active division one professional teams with 14, has continued winning international titles. It added four more CONCACAF Champions' Cups (1987, 1990, 1992, 2006), another Interamerican Cup (1990) and one FC Giants Cup (2001).
Club América 1977-78 Roster
GOALKEEPERS: Francisco Castrejon, Pedro Soto
DEFENDERS: Miguel Angel Cornero, Jesus Martinez, Mario Perez, Javier Sanchez Galindo, Alfredo Tena, Rene Trujillo, Mario Trejo
MIDFIELDERS: Javier Garcia, Antonio De La Torre, Guillermo Padron, Narciso Ramirez, Carlos Reinoso, Eduardo Rergis, Cesareo Victorino
FORWARDS: Jose Jesus Aceves, Luis Alberto Da Costa "Luisinho", Hugo Kiese, Agustin Manzo, Alberto Ordaz, Cristobal Ortega, Jose Valdez.
TD: Raul CARDENASFor more information or general inquiries concerning historical content, please contact Steven Torres, CONCACAF Director of Information Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.