SPORTS

Olympiakos completes double beating Asteras in Cup final

Olympiakos completed its sixth double in the last decade beating combative Asteras Tripolis 3-1 in Saturday’s Greek Cup final in Athens.

This was generally an entertaining game that was attended by fewer than 40,000 people at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, and had the refereeing been more balanced, it would have made for a memorable final. It is no wonder the game ended in a brawl among most players.

Asteras opened the score after 13 minutes when Ximo Navarro and Emanuel Perrone played a great one-two into the box, Navarro’s shot was parried by Olympiakos keeper Roy Carroll, but Ruben Rayos got the rebound to slot the ball in from close range.

The Reds could have stayed with 10 men before the half-time whistle had the referee given his marching orders to Jose Holebas for hitting an opponent in an off-the-ball incident.

Instead Olympiakos leveled the score one minute before half-time when Djamel Abdoun cross from the left into the path of David Fuster who scored with ease from near the penalty spot.

Olympiakos improved in the second half with the introduction of substitute Ariel Ibagaza, but it was Asteras who felt cheated as Olympiakos defender Yiannis Maniatis got away with using his left arm right on the goal line to stop a goalbound shot.

With the score at 1-1 after 90 minutes the game went on to extra time, and Super League top scorer Djebbour grabbed the second goal for Olympiakos in the 98th minute as he thundered the ball home after Asteras keeper Marton Fulop spilled a Fuster shot.

Then just as Asteras was protesting for another penalty that was not given when Sebastian Bartolini appeared to be brought down in the box, Olympiakos won a penalty at the other end that Abdoun converted two minutes from the end.

Holebas actually played the last six minutes of regulation time plus the whole of extra time on one leg as he picked up an injury after Olympiakos coach Michel had made all three substitutions.

In the brawl that took place in the 120th minute the referee showed the red card to Perrone and to Olympiakos’s Francois Modesto. They both had already been substituted but played a leading part in the fight that involved most players and team officials of the two clubs in the dying minutes, as one more Greek cup final ended in ugly scenes.