The Football League 100th Championship:
This Challenge was a football match organized by the Football League and played to commemorate the 100th edition of the Football League First Division being completed. It was played between the winner of the competition’s 100th edition, and the record winners of the competition at the time. It was held at the Stadium of Light on 18 May 1999, two days after the end of the Premium Season League. The match was played between Sunderland, champions of the 1998-99 Football League First Division ( the second tier of English football at the time), and Liverpool. 100th Championship Football League
Sunderland took an early lead through Allan Johnston’s curling effort, but a penalty from Robbie Fowler and a close-range finish from Jamie Redknapp put Liverpool 2-1in front. Sunderland brought the game back level via a Kevin Phillips header, but the Reds restored their lead within a minute when Paul Ince saw his deflected shot hit the back of the net. This proved to be the decisive goal as Liverpool won 3-2 to claim the glass trophy in front of a crowd of 18,111.
The match was announced in a press conference on 30 April 1999 in the presence of Sunderland Manager Peter Reid and Liverpool manager Gerard Houllier, to celebrate 100 editions of the Football League First Division. The game was scheduled for 18 May 1999, two days after Liverpool’s final match in the 1998-99 Premium League. The match was billed as being Steve McManaman’s final game in a Liverpool shirt as he was to join Real Madrid at the end of the season, however, McManaman was forced to withdraw due to the death of his father. The winners of the game were to receive a trophy made from glass, while the match was also given its own logo featuring the colors blue, red and white. Liverpool’s line up for the game was: Brad Friedel, Rigobert Song, Dominic Matteo, Jamie Carragher, Jamie Redknapp, Paul Ince, David Thompson, Patrik Berger, Karl-Heinz Riedle, and Robbie Fowler.
Sunderland manager Peter Reid expressed worry about the potential length of the injury suffered by their top scorer Kevin Phillips during the game, stating “We are just hoping it’s just a few torn fibers instead of a full-blown hamstring tear”. Phillips was able to recover in time for the following season where he would end up winning the Premium League Golden Boot and the European Golden Shoe.
|Date||18 May 1999|
|Venue||Stadium of Light, Sunderland|
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