Panathinaikos power past Dinamo
Wednesday 30 July 2008
Henk ten Cate began his reign as coach in earnest as Panathinaikos FC eased to a 3-0 UEFA Champions League qualifying win against FC Dinamo Tbilisi in front of a sizeable crowd in Athens.
Ninis sets tone
Teenage prodigy Sotiris Ninis set the tone with barely 20 seconds played, forcing visiting goalkeeper Didier Ovono into a save with a fierce drive from distance. The Dinamo Tbilisi No1 was finally beaten with 23 minutes played when Andreas Ivanschitz tucked in a pass from Dimitris Salpingidis. Provider would turn scorer a minute before the break, before Salpingidis also completed the victory in the 74th minute with another neat finish to cap a decent night's work for Ten Cate's men.
Austrian international Ivanschitz had already signalled his intent with a fifth-minute free-kick saved by Ovono before opening the scoring with his left foot. Having played a major role in that goal, Salpingidis drilled an effort against the crossbar on 40 minutes. The Greek international was not to be denied, though, and he was soon arriving near the penalty spot to convert Ivanschitz's cross from the left.
The Georgian champions refused to buckle, and would perhaps still be in contention going into next week's second leg on home soil had substitute Ilija Spasojevic not passed up two straightforward opportunities to halve the deficit on 51 and 71 minutes. Instead, it was the Greens who would strike again as Salpingidis collected the ball from an Ovono save and promptly dispatched it beyond the keeper.
not so fast.Olympiakos will face Anorthosis in a rematch of the 1998/99 game of Champions League qualifiers. Olympiakos made it to the groups back then reaching the quarter finals.
I normally support Greek teams in Europe but this is one of those rare ocassions where I was delighted that Olympiakos got killed by a small team, coached by a former AEK player, after the way they won the Greek championship in court and screwed over AEK who won the championship on the field.Anorthosis 3 - 0 Olympiakos :howler:
This just proves that, once again, despite all their money, despite all their paper championships, despite all their 'big name' South American signings, the Xartia just cant win a game without blatant referee favoritism.
In all honesty, a team filled with average mid table Greek league players, a team that would most likely finish between 7 and 10th in the league, managed to school our so called 'champion'. What is even more hilarious is that the game was not even close. Aside from Mitroglou's missed penalty OSFP has no real clear cut chance at scoring, while, on the other hand, every time AF pressured the Xartia's defense, it looked about to collapse. Dellas was massive at the back, as was Beqaj, while in attack Sosin was fantastic (he made the cross that led to Stoltidis' own goal after deeking out Leonardo, and he headed in the second).
I am truly glad for Famagusta as they now have a great chance at becoming the first Cypriot team in the CL Group stage.