Olympiacos defeat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League | OneFootball

Olympiacos defeat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League | OneFootball

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Peter Fitzpatrick·29 May 2024

Olympiacos defeat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League

Article image:Olympiacos defeat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League

Olympiacos are the new Europa Conference League champions after a 1-0 extra-time defeat of Fiorentina in the fitting location of Athens.

Scorers: El Kaabi 116′

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Olympiacos became the first-ever Greek side to win a European trophy with a narrow win over Fiorentina, who suffered late heartbreak for a second year running in the Europa Conference League final.

Given it was a near-home game for them in AEK’s stadium, it was not surprising that Olympiacos started the better.

They almost opened the scoring inside five minutes through Daniel Podence. The Wolves loanee’s curled effort was just put around the post by Fiorentina keeper Pietro Terracciano.

La Viola quickly got into the game, though, and soon had a goal disallowed. Nikola Milenkovic was found in space inside the box following a corner routine but VAR ruled that he was clearly offside when he put the ball in the net.

They really should have silenced the mostly-Greek crowd but Giacomo Bonaventura twice missed good opportunities to open the scoring.

Nicolás González had the Serie A side’s next best chance but couldn’t get a strong connection on his volley inside the box.

After a very cagey first half, the second started in similar fashion with a series of long balls being the best of it. In saying that, the atmosphere at the game was something to behold, with both sets of fans desperate for their moment of glory.

Olympiacos started looking for striker Ayoub El Kaabi, scorer of 15 goals in Europe this season, but Fiorentina’s defence remained extremely resolute.

Instead, it was veteran Vicente Iborra who came closest for the Greeks, making good contact with Andre Horta’s free-kick but seeing his header go just wide.

Neither side could find the breakthrough as the final went to extra time.

Olympiacos sub (and former Fiorentina star) Stevan Jovetić came the closest early into the added 30, forcing a great save out of Konstantinos Tzolakis.

There was far more energy to the game suddenly, possibly due to the threat of penalties growing by the minute.

Olympiacos grabbed a late, late lead with just four minutes left and it was that man El Kaabi. The Moroccan forward got ahead of his man to brilliantly head home Santiago Hezze’s cross. A lengthy VAR check later, and the stadium erupted.

They held out for the remainder to kickstart the red and white party in the Greek capital.