Sunday, 27 March 2011

Dundee FC - Dens Park

5th November 2000

Dundee 1-2 Hibernian

The Dundee revolution, begun in the Summer of 2000 with the appointment of Player/Manager Ivano Bonetti and host of other foreigners, mostly from Italy (see article on Fir Park, Motherwell), had stalled somewhat by the start of October.  After two impressive wins, the wheels had come off the bogey big style at Easter road, and Dundee had managed only two further victories in 13 matches.

Then up popped, almost surreally, Argentine International Claudio Cannigia.  To do justice to the player’s colourful career up to this point would take more space than I have available, but here was a man who had knocked Brazil out of the 1990 World Cup, had played for both of Argentinian football’s bitterest rivals, Boca Juniors and River Plate, and still found time to serve a year-long ban for cocaine use.

Cannigia had made his debut for Dundee at Aberdeen on October 14th, coming on as a sub to score the second in a 2-0 win, but had been on the losing side in both of his matches since.  

So it is perhaps natural I thought I may drop in to Dens Park to see the great man in action.  Hibs, who had brought Bonetti & Co down to earth with a bump back in August were the midweek visitors to Dens Park.    

The understated players entrance to Dens Park.

And whilst Cannigia certainly showed some fine touches and caused the Hibs’ defence a few anxious moments, he was outshone throughout the evening by another foreign import: Hibernian’s David ZITELLI.  The Frenchman gave an almost faultless display in how to lead the front-line, culminating in an outrageous overhead kick to win the match just after the hour.  

Earlier the sides had traded goals, with John O’NEILL able to tap in after the Dundee defence managed to get into an almighty fankle following a silly back-ass by Patrizio Billio, on 17 minutes.  A quarter of an hour later, Dundee’s former Hibernian defender Steven TWEED had equalised, heading in a free-kick from Georgi Nemsadze.

The great man himself.

Cannigia played out the season with Dundee, scoring 7 in 21 appearances, before offering up evidence that all clubs in Scotland are just feeder clubs for the Old Firm, by switching to Rangers.  He travelled to the 2002 World Cup but, despite failing to play, still contrived to get himself red-carded whilst on the bench.  Which really takes some doing when you think about it.    

Panorama of Dens Park, Dundee.

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