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AEK beats PAOK 1-0 to reach Greek Cup final

 Dellas scores only goal but game marred by pitch invasion
AEK players celebrate the winning goal with Traianos Dellas (c).

AEK beat PAOK 1-0 on Wednesday to make it to the Greek Cup final thanks to a goal from veteran defender Traianos Dellas but the game was blighted by fan violence.

AEK, which has not featured in a final since 2002, will play Atromitos in its first ever appearance in the final.

In a game of few chances, Dellas stooped to head in a 49th minute free kick that gave AEK the away goal they needed to go through after the two sides drew 0-0 at the Olympic Stadium in Athens in the first leg.

It was just reward for AEK who had been the better side in the first half. PAOK saved their best play for the closing stages but the visitors defence was supremely organized, allowing the Thessaloniki side few chances.

However, the game will be remembered for two incidents. In the first, a flare hit AEK goalkeeper Sebastian Saja in the 58th minute. The Argentinean’s jersey was singed by the flare but the keeper did not suffer any injuries.

Then, with only a minute or so of the game left, dozens of PAOK fans invaded the pitch and started clashing with riot police. TV cameras were also attacked as AEK players and the referee ran off the pitch.

Play was suspended for 20 minutes before the referee returned to blow the final whistle. No stoppage time was played.

It was notable that thousands of PAOK booed the group of about 60 hooligans that caused the problems.

ekathimerini.com , Wednesday March 16, 2011 (23:34)  
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