Botia fuming after late AEK goal, Giakoumakis beaming

Botia fuming after late AEK goal, Giakoumakis beaming

AEK Athens secured a dramatic last-gasp 2:1 victory at Olympiacos in Piraeus on Sunday, but the highly anticipated battle of heavyweights was surrounded by controversy.

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The main talking point is connected with Giorgos Giakoumakis’ winning goal deep into stoppage time. While attempting to reach Rodrigo Galo’s pinpoint cross, the 24-year old Greek brushed past Olympiacos defender Alberto Botia, but despite huge protests from the home team, the goal was given.

Botia was shown a second yellow card for his displeasure with the decision, as replays displayed him shoving the referee. Following the final whistle, the experienced Spaniard shared his anger with the call. “It was an obvious foul for Giakoumakis’ goal,” stated Botia. “In the first half, there was also a clear penalty against me, but the referee didn’t see the incident. After the game in the changing room, I felt really bad. When you lose because of the referee’s decision, the defeat is even harder to take. In my opinion, this match should have finished 1:1.”

AEK hero Giakoumakis, who scored the goal which sparked wild celebrations among the Enosis’ fans back in Athens, shared his opinion on the situation. “I felt good before the match, I was in the right place at the right time for my goal,” beamed Giakoumakis. “Was it a foul when I scored? I don’t know, I will have to look at it later in the evening. To be honest, I don’t care. This is a great victory. I believe in this team.”

Naturally, Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis wasn’t feeling in the best mood after the match. During a discussion with journalists, he touched upon PAOK’s win over PAS Giannina earlier in the day, also mentioning the trouble with fans against AEK. “We did not get a penalty, and AEK scored the second goal with a foul,” said an angry Thrylos boss. “What happened last week at Panetolikos and today in Ioannina? They (PAOK) started today’s match with an offside goal.”

“I did not witness what happened at the end. We will see if they are real Olympiacos fans, we’ll search for them and see what actually went on,” added Marinakis when speaking about supporters fighting with riot police shortly after the match had ended.

Ukrainian defender Dmytro Chygrynskiy, the scorer of AEK’s equaliser, didn’t put too much importance on his goal. “I would be just as happy if someone else scored, the team won and this is the most important thing,” revealed the 31-year old. “However, this victory will be for nothing if we don’t win the next match.”

by Shaun Nicolaides
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