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Late goal by El Kaabi gives Olympiakos Europa Conference League glory

Olympiakos became the first Greek club ever to win a European title after defeating Fiorentina 1-0 after extra time in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday.

Moroccan striker Ayoub El Kaabi scored the winning goal in the 116th minute that allowed Jose Luis Mendilibar's side to make history in the home of local rivals AEK Athens.

Prior to Olympiakos' success, Panathinaikos were the only club from Greece to make a European final when they lost to a Johan Cruyff-inspired Ajax in the 1971 European Cup decider.

Both sides started with great intensity as Daniel Podence forced a fine save from Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano, before Andrea Belotti missed his kick when presented with a good opportunity at the other end.

Fiorentina briefly thought they had taken the lead after nine minutes but Nikola Milenkovic was immediately flagged for offside when he turned home a cross past Olympiakos' Konstantinos Tzolakis.

Greek goalie Tzolakis made a fine save at the feet of Giacomo Bonaventura soon after and Nicolas Gonzalez later completely mistimed his volley when well positioned as Fiorentina had the better of the first-half chances.

Sights on goal dried up in the second half, though Tzolakis did come to Olympiakos' rescue again on 69 minutes when he adjusted well to leap backwards and palm away Christian Kouame's scuffed, bouncing effort.

Olympiakos veteran Vicente Iborra nearly broke the deadlock with a header from a free-kick that flew just wide of the Fiorentina goal in the last 10 minutes.

(AFP)


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