Late Djurdjevic Penalty Spares Olympiacos Blushes

Late Djurdjevic Penalty Spares Olympiacos Blushes


Olympiacos 1 - 1 Asteras Tripolis
Djurdjevic (P) 90'+4'
Manias (P) 55'

Serbia Under-21 striker Uroš Đurđević salvaged a point for Olympiacos with a penalty in added time as the reigning champions were held to a 1-1 draw by Asteras Tripolis at an empty Georgios Karaiskakis stadium.

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It was a tale of two penalties in Piraeus as Đurđević’s late but successful spot-kick cancelled out Michalis Manias’ penalty after 54 minutes for Tripolis in a poor quality match played behind closed doors with the home side still serving a supporter-suspension as punishments for crowd troubles last season.

While it is a point saved for Besnik Hasi’s struggling team, who looked to be heading for a shock defeat, the moans and groans surrounding Hasi’s ability, as well as the players’ performances, looks to be moving into overdrive.

With only two clear scoring chances on the night, and coming on the back of a deflating 3-2 home loss to Sporting Lisbon in their Champions League group stage opener, Hasi may already be living on borrowed time.

For Savvas Pantelidis’ side, it was a missed opportunity for a first three-point haul of the season.

Asteras came with a specific game plan to frustrate the home side and it worked wonders. Things got even better for the visitors when they were rightly awarded a penalty when Alaixys Romao handled the ball in the box.

Manias stepped up and slotted the ball home and things were looking bleak for a lifeless Olympiacos at that point.

The home side did hit the woodwork three minutes after the hour mark when Nigerian forward Emmanuel Emenike headed against the post, but after that there was little to suggest an equalizer was on the way.

That lifeline came in the second minute of added time when Tripolis midfielder Walter Iglesias handled the ball in the penalty area.

There was tangible tension when stepped up to take the spot-kick, but the Serb did not disappoint, beating Tripolis goalkeeper Giorgos Athanasiadis to rescue a point and save face for the home side.

The next couple of weeks will test the resolve of coach Besnik Hasi and his players. Next up for the Red and Whites is a trip to the Olympic stadium to take on AEK Athens in a tough derby match, followed by a trip to Turin to face Juventus three days later.

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