Olympiakos drew 2-2 with Dnipro from Ukraine at home on Thursday, playing almost the entire second half with a man down, to bow out of the Europa League, despite facing an opponent which on paper had appeared relatively easy.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Kiev, Olympiakos tried to overturn its deficit in front of a capacity crowd at the Karaiskakis Stadium, but its early lead came to nothing owing to the team’s persistent defensive frailties.
With just 13 minutes gone Costas Mitroglou broke free inside the box, after a Luka Milivojevic clever pass through, and slotted the ball into the Dnipro net for 1-0.
Yet just eight minutes later a free-kick from the left taken by Ruslan Rotan was only half-stopped by Roberto, and Artem Fedetskiy beat the Olympiakos defense to the rebound to head the ball in for the equalizer.
Milivojevic left Olympiakos with 10 men for 40 minutes after tackling an opponent from behind near the halfway line to earn himself a straight red. This was followed by a number of chances that Dnipro had to lead on the night.
In the last few minutes of the game Olympiakos chased a winner and earned a penalty two minutes from the end that Chori Dominguez turned into the hosts’ second goal.
However Croat striker Nikola Kalinic restored parity on the night as he outran the Olympiakos defenders and rounded Roberto for 2-2.
“That’s not how we dream of Olympiakos” chanted the home fans on their way out of the Karaiskakis Stadium.