Olympiacos stun Pro Recco to make Champions League final
LEN CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - SEMI-FINALS
|Olympiacos||12 - 11||Brescia|
|(5 - 3)
(8 - 6)
(11 - 8)
(12 - 11)
Defending European champions, Olympiacos, edged AN Brescia of Italy 8-7 to reach the semi-finals of the LEN Champions League.
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After going down 1-0 in the first minute of play, the Erythrolefki scored four unanswered goals to take a 4-1 lead and eventually found themselves ahead 5-3 after the conclusion of the first period of play. After the second period, Olympiacos maintained a solid 8-6 lead. Two early goals in the third period saw the Italians level the match at 8-8, but Olympiacos responded by scoring three goals themselves to go up 11-8 by the end of the third period.
The fourth period would prove to be as dramatic as can get. Pro Recco scored an early goal to reduce the Greeks’ lead to 11-9, but neither team was able to score again for over five minutes. Then, with 2:42 left, the Italians scored another goal to cut Olympiacos’ lead to 11-10. In a matter of seconds, Pro Recco added another to level the score at 11-11.
With 38 seconds left in the semi-final encounter, Konstantinos Genidounias scored a brilliant goal from long-range to put the Erythrolefki ahead by a score of 12-11. That would be enough, and Olympiacos will now seek to win their second consecutive Champions League title and third overall. This will be their fifth Champions League finals appearance.
Ioannis Fountoulis led Olympiacos on the scoresheet with three goals. Genidounias and Paulo Obradovic were also key offensive contributors, as they each scored two goals as well.
Olympiacos will now face Hungary’s FTC Telekom Budapest in Saturday’s final in Hannover, Germany. The Hungarian side will be making their first-ever appearance in a Champions League final. In the semi-finals, they defeated Spain’s Barceloneta 9-7 to advance to the final.
OLYMPIACOS’ WINNING GOAL