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No mistakes for Olympiakos

06 August 2009 / 15:08:36  GRReporter
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Olympiakos secured their place in the final play-off before the Champions League group stage, following a comfortable win against Slovan Bratislava. Enzo Maresca scored the first goal of the game in the 35th minute, while Diogo doubled in the beginning of the second half to secure a 2-0 lead for the team.

The red-whites had a slow start into the game against the Slovaks, who kicked-off more motivated and offered an offensive style of play, combined with some hard tackling which did secure them a few yellow cards eventually. Following a lengthy offense, Maresca managed to score an impressive header, not without the help of his teammates who showed some classy passing to deliver the assist.

In the second half, both managers made some changes in their starting-elevens, and Olympiakos were quicker to take an advantage. Louis Santo Diogo scored the winning goal just ten minutes after coming as a substitute to replace Konstantions Mitroglou. No surprises occurred until the end of the game, with Olympiakos controlling the rhythm at most times and showing some creativity in front of the goal. As a result, the reds had a number of opportunities but the score remained unchanged.

Right after the game, Enzo Maresca admitted that he's still settling in Greece and his new team. He's been training for only twenty days, and will need some more time to settle and get in line with the squad. He did however score two goals in his first two games, impressing both fans and teammates.

Austrian referee Konrad Plautz was responsible for this third leg Champions League play-off.

Yellow cards:  Olympiakos - Melberg; Slovan - Dosundil, Omrzera, Halendaar.

Despite winning in the third play-off, Olympiakos will have to face another leg of the competition before actually entering the groups of the Champions League, following new regulation which is enacted starting this season. The first play-off matches of the final round are on the 18 and 19 of August, while the second leg will take place on the 25 and 26 of August.

Other fans around Europe had a reason to celebrate, following their teams' success in the third leg play-off.  FC Copenhagen, Apoel Nicosia, Zurich, FC Sheriff, Debrecen, Celtic, Ventspils, FC Timisoara, and Levski are among the lucky teams to secure their place in the final round before the Champions League groups.

Dilyana Ivanova

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