SPORTS

Olympiakos through to Champions League play-offs, AEK drops out

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Olympiakos drew at home with Partizan Belgrade on Wednesday to make the Champions League play-offs, while AEK suffered defeat to host CSKA Moscow for a second time in eight days.

The Greek champion was quite erratic in Piraeus and drew 2-2 with the Serbs, but its 3-1 victory in Belgrade last week sufficed to see it safely through to the last round before the profitable group stage of the competition.

The Reds led with Mehdi Carcela’s free-kick that Partizan goalkeeper Filip Pljajic fumbled halfway through the first half at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium, but Partizan equalized as Seydouba Soumah made the most of Stefanos Kapino’s spill on the 33rd.

Costas Fortounis restored Olympiakos’s lead on the night with a header six minutes into the second half, only for Uros Djurdjevic to thunder the ball high into the net for 2-2 five minutes from time.

AEK trailed 2-0 from the first leg in Athens and on Wednesday it lost 1-0 in Moscow, to another goal from a corner kick, just as it had happened twice eight days earlier. The Yellows therefore dropped down to the Europa League with a 0-3 aggregate score.

Substitute Bibras Natcho broke the deadlock for CSKA on the 74th minute as he managed to bundle the ball in after a corner by Vitinho that Aleksei Berezutski flicked toward Natcho.

AEK was a little more creative than in the first leg, but it still left its fans disappointed and concerned ahead of entering the Europa League play-offs later this month for a spot in the group stage.

The play-off draws are taking place on Friday.

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