(Reuters) - ON THIS DAY — March 20
March 20, 1994:
SOCCER - British soldiers cheer on the United Nations team during a match against FC Sarajevo, which was played in front of 20,000 fans in the former 1984 Winter Olympics Stadium Zetra.
Eight years after the erstwhile Yugoslavia became the first socialist state to host the Winter Games, Sarajevo was at the heart of the Bosnian War which lasted until 1995.
The match, which ended 4-0 in favour of the local team, was also marked by entertainment by British army parachutists and a Buckingham Palace band. “It’s a very big event ... By this match today I believe we’re advancing the peace process in Bosnia-Herzegovina and not just in Sarajevo,” Britain’s Michael Rose, the head the U.N. peacekeeping efforts in Bosnia, said.
March 20, 1995:
GYMNASTICS - Brazil’s rhythmic gymnastics team performs with the hoop during the group all-around competition at the 12th Pan American Games in the seaside resort city of Mar Del Plata in Argentina.
They helped Brazil capture their sole medal in the sport in that edition of the quadrennial multi-sport competition - a bronze. Cuba took the gold in the event ahead of the United States who bagged silver.
March 20, 1997:
SOCCER - Liverpool forward Robbie Fowler scores from the penalty spot to give his team a 1-0 lead in the second leg of the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup quarter-final against Norwegian side Brann. Liverpool won the match 3-0 for a 4-1 aggregate win.
Liverpool, however, were knocked out in the semi-finals after a 3-2 aggregate defeat by Paris St Germain, with Fowler scoring in the 2-0 win in the second leg at Anfield to finish as the competition’s top scorer that season with seven goals.
PSG were beaten by Barcelona in the final in Rotterdam.
March 20, 1998:
BASKETBALL - Los Angeles Lakers forward Robert Horry battles for the ball with Seattle Sonics centre Jim McIlvaine during the first quarter of an NBA regular season game. The Lakers won the game 93-80 for their seventh straight home victory and ended the Sonics’ five-match winning run in the process.
The two teams would meet again in the Western Conference semi-finals and the Lakers, who had lost three of their previous four meetings with the Sonics, cruised to a 4-1 overall victory after losing the first game.
Their campaign, however, ground to a halt when they were swept 4-0 by the Utah Jazz in the Western Conference finals.
March 20, 1998:
BASKETBALL - UCLA shooting guard Billy Knight challenges University of Kentucky guard Allen Edwards during the first half of their NCAA Regional game in Tropicana Field.
The duo failed to make the step up to the NBA, with Knight last playing professionally in Japan for several years before his death by suicide in 2018.
Edwards, who won two NCAA championships, enjoyed several assistant coaching roles before he was named head coach of the University of Wyoming. He left the job in March 2020.
March 20, 1999:
BALLOONING - British balloonist Alan Noble, flight director of the Breitling Orbiter 3, cracked open a bottle of champagne at the balloon’s flight control centre in Geneva, and compatriot Brian Jones and Swiss Bertrand Piccard became the first men ever to fly round the world non-stop in a hot air balloon. The pair crossed the 9 degree 27 minute west line of longitude over Mauretania exactly 20 days after taking off from Switzerland.
The triumph marked an 18-year battle to achieve the feat for Noble, who took up ballooning in 1974. As flight director, Noble helped the balloonists avoid trouble spots and find air currents. Noble has played a part in many balloon record attempts, working on a number of altitude records.
“I find it challenging and extremely exciting indeed,” Noble told local media after one unsuccessful altitude attempt. “Contrary to popular belief, a balloon can be controlled to a big extent and doesn’t just drift around in the sky.”
March 20, 1999:
SOCCER - West Ham forward Paolo Di Canio is challenged by Newcastle United right back Laurent Charvet during his team’s 2-0 Premier League victory.
West Ham finished the 1998-99 campaign in fifth place for their highest Premier League finish but have been dogged by inconsistency in the top flight ever since.
The team is 16th in the standings this season with 27 points from 29 games. “Everybody will lose if West Ham go down,” Di Canio told talkSPORT radio recently. “They must try to push all in the same direction to maintain and save West Ham.”
March 20, 2003:
SOCCER - A Celtic fan cheers during the UEFA Cup quarter-final against Liverpool at Anfield. The fan, and Scotland, had much to cheer about that year. Celtic won that second leg match 2-0, sealing a 3-1 aggregate win and a spot in the semi-finals against Boavista.
The Scottish side beat Boavista 2-1 in a two-legged semi-final, but their form and fortune ran out against another Portuguese outfit in the final, losing 3-2 to Porto in the final played in Seville by virtue of an extra-time goal from Derlei. Prior to that final, no club from Scotland or Portugal had ever won the UEFA Cup.
The game had what UEFA described at the time as “the largest travelling support to have assembled for a single game” - around 80,000 Celtic fans travelled to Seville for the final.
March 20, 2004:
SOCCER - Manchester United’s Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates scoring his second ever Premier League goal for the club in their 3-0 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.
Ronaldo’s appetite for goals only improved with time as he racked up 118 in 292 games for United and, remarkably, averaged over a goal a game for Spanish giants Real Madrid scoring 450 in 438 appearances over the course of nine seasons.
The Juventus forward’s senior career tally, including 99 goals for Portugal, currently stands at 725.
March 20, 2010:
RUGBY - France flanker Thierry Dusautoir celebrates with his team mates after they defeated England 12-10 in the final round of the Six Nations to capture their first Grand Slam since 2004 and ninth overall.
France, who have not repeated the feat since, had a strong chance in this year’s competition after wins over England, Italy and Wales but they suffered a shock loss against Scotland. Their final game against Ireland was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
Compiled by Ossian Shine and Shrivathsa Sridhar; Editing by Simon Jennings