SPORTS

Heartbreak for Atromitos and Asteras

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Neither Asteras Tripolis nor Atromitos did manage to advance in the Europa League, failing to score victories at home in the return games held in Greece on Thursday.

Both the Asteras vs Hibernian and the Atromitos vs Dinamo Brest games finished 1-1 for the second qualifying round, leaving Olympiakos as the only Greek club left in the competition.

Asteras went out on a 4-3 aggregate score since it paid for a poor first half during which it conceded a goal and created only one decent chance. In the second half it was far better than Hibernian despite being a man down, but one goal would not be enough on the night.

Hibs scored first on the 43rd minute when John McGinn slotted the ball past Giorgos Athanasiadis from the edge of the box with a diagonal shot, after Asteras’s Matias Iglesias gave the ball away near the halfway line.

Michalis Manias left Asteras with 10 men three minutes into the second half getting his second booking, just after missing a glorious chance to equalize.

Kosmas Tsilianidis eventually scored that equalizer on the 56th minute as he broke free from the Scottish defense and shot home. The Greeks sought the winning goal, but it was not meant to be.

Atromitos lost 5-4 on aggregate to Dinamo Brest conceding a goal in the dying seconds of the match at Peristeri to a team that had hardly threatened it during the second leg.

The Greeks needed a one-goal win, and when they grabbed that lead they failed to hold on to it, in heartbreaking fashion.

Atromitos was quite disappointing for most of the game, failing to create many chances playing in front of its own fans.

Still, substitute Giorgos Manousos scored the goal Atromitos badly needed 11 minutes from time, unleashing a spectacular right-footed shot from 25 meters out that the Dinamo goalkeeper had no chance to parry.

Just as it seemed Atromitos had secured qualification, Dinamo scored in the fifth minute of the four-minute injury time. Pavel Nyakhaychyk became the Belarusian club’s hero with a header from close range.

In an unusual incident Atromitos’s Armin Mujakic got sent off from the bench, as after getting a yellow card in the first half he was substituted in the second and collected another booking for sitting on the bench without his shirt.

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