SPORTS

Olympiakos caps a perfect season by winning Super Cup

lympiakos’s water polo team has made European history in the sport by becoming the Continent’s first-ever team to win all possible club-level titles, domestic and international, within a single season. The Greek team’s grand-slam feat for the year was completed on Sunday with the Super Cup, which draws the European Champion against the European Cup Winner. Olympiakos narrowly defeated Hungarian rival Vasas, 6-5, in Budapest, snatching victory with a winning goal by Chris Hubert just 18 seconds before the game’s end. The Piraeus team’s way toward its perfect season had been set in motion with the domestic league and cup titles, as well as the European Champions trophy. To win the European Cup, Olympiakos had upset another Hungarian club, Honved, also away before a fervent Hungarian crowd. Water polo is one of Hungary’s most popular sports. «We owed it to ourselves to win because of certain failures in the Greek league. We have successfully completed our mission. The team shows character when it must,» noted player Theodoris Kalakonas, referring to some patchy moments during the season. «We no longer have to prove anything to anybody. We’ve confirmed that we’re a great side. We could have gone into this game thinking that it was indifferent, since we had already won three titles, but we didn’t,» he added. The Super Cup clash was evenly contested throughout the encounter’s seven-minute quarters, but Olympiakos’s late surge in the final quarter, 3-1, broke the deadlock. «We couldn’t wait for this game. We really wanted to also take this title. This accomplishment is unique in European water polo history,» remarked Sakis Platanitis, Olympiakos’s top scorer with two goals. «Our season ended in a perfect fashion. Also, this title compensates for some losses in the Greek league. There was some doubt because of them, but now nobody can doubt us. We played in four finals and won all four titles. We’ve taken it all.»