Ολυμπιακός – Φιορεντίνα 1-0:
Ολυμπιακός – Φιορεντίνα 1-0:

Olympiacos has made history in the Conference League final!

30 May, 2024

The first and second half of the Conference League Grand Final ended 0-0. Olympiacos’ game against Fiorentina went into overtime, where Olympiacos scored a goal, with El Kaabi scoring. The first European Trophy for a Greek team in football is a fact.

A great day for the Piraeus team, Olympiacos made history in the Conference League final! More than 9,000 Olympiacos fans were at the “OPAP Arena” and saw the great victory of Jose Luis Medilibar’s players. Present at the stadium is the president of SYRIZA, Stefanos Kasselakis.

Those who could not be present at the stadium have turned the night into a day in Piraeus, but also in Kaminias, where giant screens have been set up to celebrate the great victory. As soon as the Portuguese referee blew the final whistle, thousands of Olympiacos fans who were watching the game from giant screens set up in three areas of Piraeus erupted in wild celebrations with the night turning into day.

The gates of the AEK Arena opened at 19:00 to welcome the fans of both teams, with their legal ticket, which is strictly personalized, as well as their police ID. The departure of the fans from the stadium will take place, upon the indication of the staff of the organizing authority, in the reverse way, that is, Olympiacos fans will head to the “Perissos” HST station while Fiorentina fans will head to the buses located on Dekelias Avenue.

The squads of the teams

Olympiacos: Tzolakis, Rodinay, Ortega, Retsos, Karmo, Iborra, Eze, Cicinho, Fortounis, Podense, El Kaabi.

On the bench are: Paschalakis, Papadoudis, Orta, El Arrabi, Alexandropoulos, Kini, Masouras, Carvalho, Jovetic, Richards, Apostolopoulos, Doi.

Fiorentina: Teraziano, Biragi, Martinez, Milenkovic, Dondo, Madragora, Artur, Bonaventura, Quame, Gonzalez, Bellotti.

On the bench are: Christensen, Lopez, Beltran, Iconone, Ranieri, Nzola, Infantino, Faranoni, Duncan, Kayode, Parisi, Barak.

The match

After an impressive ritual, the grand final kicked off with the fans of both teams having created an impressive atmosphere and with Olympiacos entering the OPAP Arena pitch with a strong start, creating the first chance to open the scoring in the very 3rd minute, when Pontaine took the ball on the left wing and converged perfectly, before crossing from the edge of the wide area, forcing Terachano to make a difficult save from a corner. Fortunis cleverly and quickly executed it with a pass for Rodinay, who made a sliding run, with Bonaventura making a last-minute clearance. Fiorentina came close to the Olympiacos goal for the first time on 5 minutes, with Quame making a very quick counter-attack and the ball ended up in the hands of Gonzalez, who made an impressive feint to evade Ortega and made the turn, with Bellotti shooting wide of the right post, just past the right post of Tzolakis.

The pace was very fast in the first quarter, with Fiorentina threatening again on 8 minutes, with Dodo making the move and turning in from the right of the Italian attack, with the Reds defence conceding a corner, and then there was another turn by Biragi, with the ball going through several legs and ending up with the forward Milenkovic, who sent the ball into the net from close range, but the goal was correctly disallowed as offside.

Entering the second quarter, Fiorentina got more of the ball at their feet and had another final attempt on 14 minutes, with a shot from outside the area by Quame being deflected before ending up in a corner that went unmarked for the Viola, while on 21 minutes Bonaventura found himself in a “shooting position” after a header was cleared by Retsos, but he shot weakly and into the arms of Tzolakis. In fact, in the very next minute Bonaventura threatened again, with the Olympiacos goalkeeper coming out in time to beat him one-on-one!

One of Olympiacos’ most active players in the opening minutes, it was Pontaine who came close to opening the scoring and on 25 minutes, when he moved to the front post after a corner by Chikinho and headed in a corner, seeing Terachano blocking with great effort. After 25 minutes the tempo dropped off, with both teams applying significantly less pressure than in the opening minutes. On 32′, after a deep ball into the back of the Olympiacos defense, Tzolakis was out of his goal in time to… head past Quame, while on the other side of the pitch El Kaabi looked very cut off.

On 39′ Bonaventura took a cross from the left, with Quame moving to the second post and making a header pass, but Bellotti and Gonzalez were unable to score in the last good play of the first half, on 40 minutes, El Kaabi made a move after an excellent ball from Podense at the back of the defense, but Terachano came out in time to clear before the Moroccan made contact with the ball. As the two teams headed to the dressing rooms, there was little tension between Fiorentina and Olympiacos fans, with police and Italian players heading towards the OPAP Arena’s horseshoe to calm the situation.

At the start of the second half, specifically on 47 minutes, Retsos and Bellotti sparred heavily in an aerial duel, with the Olympiacos defender becoming very stunned. Although Olympiacos’ medical staff initially indicated to the bench that the Reds defender would not be able to continue, he eventually asked to remain on the pitch, with Medilibar not replacing him.

On 53 minutes the Piraeus side launched a quick counter-attack, with Podense making the move and turning from the left for El Kaabi, with the Fiorentina defense clearing, and on 57 minutes Dodo made an excellent vertical pass, but Bellotti came out with the ball off the end line of the pitch. A slower pace compared to the first half, with Olympiacos threatening on 62′, when after Rodinay’s move and cross from the right, Pontaine did not make a perfect control and allowed the defenders to clear, while on 65′ the Viola came close to scoring after Artur’s corner, with Milenkovic sending the ball just wide with a pinpoint, powerful header from a very advantageous position.

Fiorentina threatened again on 69′, when after a quick counter-attack and perfect teamwork between Enzola, Artur and Quame, the latter was confronted by Tzolakis, with the Olympiacos goalkeeper saving a corner, while on 72′ Medilibar replaced Fortounis with Jovetic on 72′. Olympiacos “touched” the goal on 80′, with Orta, who had come on as a substitute for Cicinho a little earlier, taking a foul on Rodinay on the right flank with a perfect centre and with Ibora sending the ball inches past Tarachano’s right post with a powerful header!

On 84′ and after another excellent foul by Orta, El Kaabi was thrown into the path of the ball but it went inches wide of the Fiorentina goal, and on 89′ Duncan tried to threaten Tzolakis with a long range shot, but the ball went very high out of play. That was the last final attempt of normal time, with the score remaining 0-0 and the final going to extra time.

Medilibar substituted Kini for Ortega at the start of the extra half-hour, and on 94 minutes the Olympiacos players protested vehemently for a penalty for a handball by Martinez Quarta, with the referee and VAR saying “play on”, before the very active Jovetic forced Teracano into a crucial intervention for his team, after a beautiful cross from the edge of the wide area. Orta took another foul on the Reds on 100 minutes with a free-kick, but El Kaabi’s header went high out of play, with neither team finding the back of the net in the first half of extra time.

At the start of the second 15 minutes, Medilibar replaced the very tired Podense with Masura, with Orta moving to the left wing and with Jovetic being pushed forward past El Kaabi. Fiorentina threatened on 110 minutes after the hour mark, with Jolakis impressively parrying away an effort from Enzola. Finally, the goal of great triumph came on 116 minutes, with the formidable throughout the game, Eze, making a fantastic cross from the right and El Kaabi darting into the path of the ball, beating Martinez Quarta by sending the ball into the net with a header and sending Olympiacos fans everywhere to seventh heaven! The play was checked for some time by VAR for a possible offside, with the ‘golden’ goal counting as normal and the ‘reds’ becoming the first Greek team to win a European trophy!

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