Late Lazaros wonder goal sends AEK to Greek Cup final

Late Lazaros wonder goal sends AEK to Greek Cup final


AEK 1 - 0 Larissa
Christodoulopoulos 90'+4' (Agg. 2*-2)

Lazaros Christodoulopoulos volleyed AEK into the Greek Cup final in sensational fashion on Wednesday as his added time bicycle kick clinched a last gasp 1-0 semi-final, second leg win over Larissa.

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The Greece international forward’s brilliant strike was enough to send Manolo Jimenez’s Double-chasers, who had lost the first leg 2-1, through on away goals after the tie ended 2-2 on aggregate.

Lazaros, just as he has done on some many occasions this season, came up with the goods at the crucial moment with a great scissor-kick volley on the turn following a corner, breaking Larissa hearts while sparking jubilant celebrations among the home fans at the Olympic Stadium for whom the domestic double is still on the cards.

Until the late drama there was little to suggest that AEK, who need just one point from their last three games to be crowned SuperLeague champions, could turn the tie around with Jimenez’s 3-5-2 system not effective on this occasion against a well-drilled Larissa outfit who sensed their big chance.

Chances were few and far between as Larissa played an effective defensive game laying in wait to counter attack.

The only time AEK looked dangerous was in the final 10 minutes when they proceeded to bombard the Larissa penalty area, winning a succession of corners and creating numerous half chances.

And that is when in the fourth minute of added time, Lazaros, unmarked at the back post, saved the day for the Kitromavri once again and they can now look forward to the mouth-watering prospect of a Greek Cup final clash with SuperLeague title rivals PAOK.

It marks a chance of revenge for AEK, who lost out 2-1 to PAOK in controversial circumstances in last season’s final, with replays showing the winning goal scored by Pedro Henrique was offside.



by Graham Wood
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