SPORTS

Roberto’s heroics make Kasami’s goal count

Pajtim Kasami’s goal and Roberto’s heroics in goal saw Olympiakos claim one of the biggest wins in its history on Wednesday downing Italian champion Juventus 1-0 to boost its chances of reaching the last 16 of the Champions League.

The Reds have now collected six points from three games and are tied on top of the group with Atletico Madrid, having already beaten the Spaniards at home.

In front of a pulsating crowd at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Piraeus Olympiakos got sweet revenge from previous disappointments to Juventus in 1999 and 2003 in the Champions League, as it has finally beaten the Bianconeri at home.

The Greeks started the game on top putting pressure on the Gianluigi Buffon goal, while the Italians would threaten the host’s defense only on the counterattack.

Juventus’s Carlos Tevez had a goal disallowed as offside, before Costas Mitroglou set up Kasami at the edge of the Juve box and the Swiss international sent a left-foot shot to swerve into the visitors’ net on the 36th minute for 1-0.

From the 40th minute, however, the face of the game changed completely. Olympiakos sat back and waited Juventus’s attacks, and they were plenty.

Time and again the Italians would beat the Greek defense, in what was a one-way-traffic second half, but they simply could not get past Roberto. His heroics averted a Juventus equalizer at least five times, in a performance reminiscent of his showing against former club Benfica last year, again in Piraeus.

Juventus turned its original formation of 3-5-2 to 4-2-4 as Massimiliano Allegri used all his strikers in an effort to beat Roberto, but to no avail. The Spaniard was simply unbeatable on the night.

Perhaps he was eager to prove himself right, as one day before the match he had predicted that Olympiakos would win 1-0 through a Kasami goal. Apparently his betting tips are as good as his fingertips!

Juventus will get a chance to redeem itself in 13 days’ time when it hosts Olympiakos in Turin.