Olympiakos beat Manchester City in a penalty shootout following their 2-2 tie in Group B, thanks to a goal from Thanasis Papazoglou. The result meant that both teams are eliminated from the competition and Liverpool advances to Monday’s final in Miami. Stevan Jovetic and Aleksandar Kolarov scored for City while Dimitris Diamantakos got both of Olympiakos’.
As they had all tournament, Olympiakos audaciously ran at their opponents, even if, on paper, they’re the weakest team in this edition of the ICC. Alejandro Dominguez combined beautifully to dice through City’s back line in the 2nd minute and sent in a splendid finish. But his goal was disallowed for offsides.
Not much later, Yaya Toure got through at the other end and squared the ball for Samir Nasri, but the Frenchman hesitated and then pulled his shot wide. City would remain aggressive throughout the game, loping towards the Greeks at speed and in numbers. Forwards Edin Dzeko and Jovetic synched up particularly well, as their partnership continues to grow. And it seemed only a matter of time before Jovetic would steal the show yet again.
And indeed, in the 35th minute, he opened the score with his fifth goal in just three games this tournament. He picked up the ball by the sideline, darted into the box, stepped over twice and whipped his shot to the near post, freezing Roberto.
But Olympiakos would not be vanquished so easily. Just two minutes after Jovetic’s opening goal, Diamantakos made the equalizer on a nice play instigated by Javier Saviola.
City ramped up the pressure then, creating a good number of chances. At length, it paid off in the 53rd minute, as Jovetic played David Villa the ball in the box. The little Spaniard cut across his defender and was chopped down, finally giving City the penalty they had begged for twice before. Kolarov converted by pummeling his shot high into the nets.
Yet again, though, Olympiakos would come back, Diamantakos was played through the back line, circled onrushing goalkeeper Joe Hart â who perhaps should have stayed home longer â and hooked the ball into the empty net from a tricky angle.
The English continued to push forward, orchestrated largely by Silva, but never did find the winner, as Roberto made several strong saves. And the Greeks prevailed after seven rounds of penalty kicks that saw two saves each by the keepers.