SPORTS

AEK absorbs Milan pressure to score historic 1-0 victory

Three weeks after recording its first-ever win in the group stages of the Champions League, AEK Athens posted number two when it stunned AC Milan 1-0 at a packed Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night. AEK climbed into second place with seven points, three behind Milan and one ahead of Lille, and will qualify unless Lille betters AEK’s result at Anderlecht when it visits Milan on December 6. AEK owes its famous win mainly to a staunch defense and the heroics of its Italian goalkeeper Stefano Sorrentino, who made half a dozen top-class saves. Traianos Dellas put an early header over the bar but for most of the first half AEK was on the back foot as Sorrentino kept out good efforts from Ricardo Oliveira and Kaka and twice denied Filippo Inzaghi. The game changed, however, in the 33rd minute when Milan’s Clarence Seedorf brought down Nikos Liberopoulos and Brazilian striker Julio Cesar fired low into the right-hand corner of Dida’s goal. The second half produced plenty of end-to-end excitement with Milan hitting the post as it desperately went in search of an equalizer. Hard as its players pushed, there was nothing Milan could do and the 60,000 AEK fans duly celebrated in a sea of yellow and black flags. AEK coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer said: «It was a great night for AEK fans and for Greek football. The fans kept our team spirit fresh throughout the match.» (Reuters)