SPORTS

PAOK and AEK to meet again in Cup final

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos sends AEK to the final with a tremendous effort.

TAGS: Soccer

PAOK and AEK will meet in the Greek Cup final for a second consecutive year, after Lazaros Christodoulopoulos stunned brave Larissa in the fourth minute of added time on Wednesday to give AEK the chance to avenge its loss to PAOK last year.

AEK fans had to wait 94 minutes for the goal that would undo Larissa’s advantage from the first leg with that 2-1 victory in Thessaly, but the wait was definitely worth it. One minute before the end of stoppage time Christodoulopoulos tried a spectacular volley from a tight angle on the right side of the penalty box to send the ball into the net and the Olympic Stadium of Athens into a volcanic eruption.

The 1-0 result is tough on Larissa who defended well throughout the game, not only in the first half when AEK was particularly slow, but also in the second when the hosts went out with all their guns blazing.

PAOK had no such problems, as it followed up its 3-1 win at Panionios in the first leg of the other semifinal tie with another win by the same score, this time at Toumba on Tuesday.

The Cup holder had Efthymis Koulouris, Dimitris Pelkas and Aleksandar Prijovic on target in front of empty stands. Giorgos Masouras had temporarily equalized for Panionios.

The final will take place at the Olympic Stadium next month.

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