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Olympiacos Triumphs Over Fiorentina to Secure Historic Europa Conference League Victory

Posted : 30 May 2024

Olympiacos clinched their first major European club trophy by defeating Fiorentina 1-0 after extra time in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday. The winning goal, scored by Ayoub El Kaabi, came in the 116th minute, securing Greece's historic victory in the competition.


The match, held at the AEK Arena, was fiercely contested, with both teams struggling to find the net during regular time. El Kaabi's late strike ended the deadlock, sending Olympiacos fans into a frenzy as they celebrated this monumental achievement.


Throughout the match, both sides displayed intense physicality, but goal-scoring opportunities were rare. With the game heading towards a penalty shootout, El Kaabi seized his chance, converting Santiago Hezze's cross to put Olympiacos ahead.


The goal was subject to a VAR review for offside, causing a tense wait for the players and fans alike. Once confirmed, the celebrations erupted, marking El Kaabi's 11th goal in the competition, all scored during the knockout stages, including five against Aston Villa in the semifinals.


The triumph was especially poignant for Olympiacos winger Giorgos Masouras, who expressed his elation and disbelief at the victory. As teammates celebrated with fans, Masouras emphasized the collective effort that led to their success.


Olympiacos manager Jose Luis Mendilibar, who previously won the Europa League with Sevilla, also reveled in the moment, having taken charge of the Greek club just a few months prior. Mendilibar acknowledged the historic achievement and looked forward to future challenges, highlighting the importance of maintaining their newly attained status in European football.


Olympiacos' victory ignited celebrations across Greece, particularly in the port city of Piraeus, where thousands of fans gathered to mark the occasion. The atmosphere was electric, with flares and fireworks lighting up the night. Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis lauded the team's success, calling it a milestone for Greek football.


The win also brought a sense of vindication for Fiorentina's Vincenzo Italiano, who saw his side fall short in consecutive Europa Conference League finals, adding to their Coppa Italia final defeat. Despite their disappointment, Italiano praised his players' efforts, acknowledging the painful reality of their narrow misses in recent cup campaigns.


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