We qualified for the next stage of the Greek Cup last night with a 1-1 draw. The draw however was good enough to see us advance on away goals in the last four. We will then be drawn against the Vazeloi, Voulgaroi or OFI.
The game itself was reasonable from ourselves, we did the majority of the attacking and regularly threatened the Atromitos goal but we just couldn't get the elusive goal. Atromitos scored from an offside position in the 42nd minute but we got the equaliser from a penalty call in the 56th. It wasn't a brilliant game and the free stream was terrible quality which didn't help matters but we got through and that was enough for me.
Atromitos 1-1 Olympiakos
42' Tavlaridis / 56' Dominguez
Olympiakos : Megyeri, Salino, Manolas, Marcano, Bong, N'Dinga, Maniatis, Campbell (75' Samaras), Perez (90 +1' Machado), Dominguez (85' Saviola), Olaitan.
We played the first leg of our latest cup tie last night, this time against Atromitos. Unfortunately for us, we ended up getting a 0-0 draw and now have to make sure that we at least achieve a score draw in the return leg.
This isn't the worst result in the world. We came close on quite a few occasions but Atromitos defended in depth (something they won't be able to do if they want to win) and had luck on their side. We should have perhaps grabbed at least one goal in the dying stages of the match but I guess it was not to be.
I can't complain too hard, we played decently enough. Atromitos were playing defensively and how the hell some of our shots on goal stayed out, I'll never know.
We have the return leg in the next few weeks (date to be determined) and we'll get the win if we play at the same level as we did last night.
Unfortunately I will be away in Greece for the next week and a bit, so there will be no reports for the Panthrax and Atromitos games.
I will however try to write some small updates on our facebook page and should be back in England before the game against Arsenal.
Todays match against Atromitos marked the end of a successfull season for Olympiakos and also the first of two times we would be playing Atromitos in the space of 7 days (we play them in the cup on Saturday 28th). The team we turned out was not the strongest available and several players were rested in advance of the cup. The game itself was more or less a dead match for us although we wouldn't particularly want to lose the match either.
The match didn't start brightly for us but we worked to take possession of the ball in the centre of the field, and after the first ten minutes we had started to control the game more confidently. Our first chance on goal came in the eleventh minute from a short range Diogo header which was unfortunately aimed directly at the keeper. In general, we were playing well and pressuring the opposition goalmouth but without scoring as yet and still susceptible to the odd Atromitos counter attack.
We continued with our aggressive gameplay, bringing the ball closer to the Atromitos net with Fetfatzidis having a fine effort saved off the line in the 30th minute. Fetfatzidis was also a very frustrating player to watch with his insistance of preferring to dribbling through three or four players rather than pass to a free teammate. We were almost caught out with an Atromitos counter attack in the 34th minute when Mitroglou broke through our defence but managed to recover when the same player slipped over in the box.
Nevertheless we continued with the pressure and came close again in the 41st minute with a shot from the box of the box courtesy of Fejsa which made the keeper stretch to push wide. This was the last action of note in the first half.
The second half was only a minute old when we won a penalty for a foul on Diogo in the box. Fuster took the penalty but saw his effort saved (which was a good result since Diogo dived for the penalty in the first place). This did not stop us from keeping up the pressure on the Atromitos goal though and we kept a good attacking rate on the opposition area throughout the half. Fuster again came close in the 60th minute after an elaborate pass from Monje but saw his shot saved.
A minute later though and we scored the opening goal which we had been threatening all match. A free kick from 30 metres out was lobbed into the box, it eluded everyone apart from Marcano on the far side of the box. Marcano took the opportunity to shoot into the net from the tight angle and open the scoring.
Fetfatzidis scored the second goal after we managed to break through their defence with two players to their final defender. Giannis Fetfatzidis composed himself then lobbed the keeper beautifully to double the scoreline. Despite what I wrote earlier it was a lovely finish (but I still wish he'd pass more than trying to dribble umpteen opponents). Atromitos tried to instantly reply through Epstein and Tatos but luckily we stayed defensively firm to stop their chances (and even clear the ball off the line).
In the last period of the game, Atromitos came at us to try and get one goal back and save some face since they had been on the back foot for most of the match. We tended to be defending well but we were also penetrated a couple of times which led to Potouridis coming onto the pitch and replacing Makoun (giving us 5 at the back). We ended playing the game out in this formation and wound the clock down to the end of the match.
We had made a decent enough win after todays win although some of the plays did help remind of the thin nature of the squad and I still have some doubts on whether the likes of Diogo and Monje are good enough for anything but backup status. Fuster as well seemed wasteful on the ball and it may be that his injury earlier in the season has affected his gameplay even after regaining fitness. Still, it was a competent enough win and a good prelude to next weekends all important cup final.
Atromitos 0-2 Olympiakos
Olympiakos (Valverde) :- Carroll, Modesto, Mellberg , Papazoglou, Marcano, Fetfatzidis, Fejsa, Makoun (82' Potouridis), Monje, Fuster (75' Orbaiz), Diogo