Holebas the second Greek to play in the FA Cup final

Holebas the second Greek to play in the FA Cup final

Jose Holebas will become the second Greek to feature in the FA Cup Final, as his Watford prepare to face off against Manchester City on the 18th of May.

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Barring injury, veteran Greek left back Jose Holebas will become the second Greek ever to appear in the FA Cup Final at Wembley. In what is a remarkable achievement reaching the final, his Watford side will face big-spending Manchester City on the 18th of May.

Led by Spaniard Javi Garcia, Watford have impressed in the English Premier League once again as they have become a stable fixture and finished the season in 11th. The cup run has given their fans something to dream about as the domestic season draws to a close, especially since the Hornets have never won the FA Cup (their best finish was runners-up in 1983-84, losing 2-0 to Everton in the final).

Watford’s run to the final started in early January when they defeated Woking 2-0 in the third round. In the fourth round, they ventured north to Newcastle United and also emerged as 2-0 winners. In the fifth round (last 16), they beat QPR 1-0 away from home to set up a quarter-final tie against Crystal Palace. The Hornets won this match 2-1 via a late goal from Andre Gray.

This set up a massive semi-final clash against a free flowing Wolverhampton side. They found themselves 0-2 down but goals from Gerard Deulofeu and Troy Deeney (94th minute penalty) sent the Wembley tie to extra time. Deulofeu was the hero in extra time, scoring the winning goal in the 104th minute. Holebas started the match, but was substituted in the 98th minute.

The only other Greek to ever feature in the showpiece event was Nikos Dabizas. The current Panathinaikos Technical Director played in the 1997-98 FA Cup Final for Newcastle United as they lost 2-0 to Arsenal via goals from Marcus Overmars and Nicolas Anelka. Ironically, Dabizas squandered a golden chance to equalise as his header hit the crossbar when the Magpies were trailing 1-0.

 

by Athan Stylos

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