‘Forgotten’ game between Pelé and Eusébio
Clashes between Eusébio and Pelé when they played for Benfica, Santos, Portugal and Brazil are well-documented. Less well-known, however, is the fact that the two idols of world football were also rivals in the USA.
During the Brazilian’s adventure with the New York Cosmos, the Black Panther was plying his trade in the same country. The Portuguese legend played for Boston Minutemen and, later, Las Vegas Quicksilvers, for both of whom he faced Pelé.
The game between the Cosmos and the Minutemen was the most exciting. Nickerson Field at Boston University had a capacity of 14,000 people although more than 20,000 were there in June 1975 to witness a goal from Eusébio and a disallowed goal from Pelé.
Eusébio opened the scoring from a free kick before what would have been an equalising goal from Pelé was disallowed for a foul in the build-up. A delirious crowd had previously invaded the pitch to hug Pelé but, injured, he had to be substituted and was not there to see his Boston side win the contest on penalties.