Olympiacos greek soccer champion 2008-09Olympiakos have completed another excellent season in Greece by winning both the championship and cup over rivals Panathinaikos and AEK. The team from Piraeus completed the double yesterday by defeating AEK Athens in the final game of the Hellas Online Cup. And what a game that was!

AEK managed to take a 2-0 lead less than 10 minutes into the game. Olympiakos was unable to mount much of an offense during the entire first half with only a nice shot from Leto handled nicely by goalkeeper Saja. It was obvious that something had to happen to change the flow of the game and Valverde took action in the second half by giving the young Matt Derbyshire (on loan from Blackburn Rovers) a chance. And he did not disappoint scoring his team’s first goal on his first touch on the ball giving new hope to Olympiakos.

After Derbyshire’s goal the flow of the game changed and Olympiakos took control fighting for the equalizer. Dudu managed to score the equalizer after a scramble in the box at the 70th minute of the game. It looked like the game was going to extra time when out of nowhere and after some excellent dribbling Skokko gave AEK the lead at the 90th minute. AEK looked destined to finally win a title after 7 years of misery. But Matt wasn’t done yet.

With seconds left to play, Matt Derbyshire scored his second goal of the night with a nice header sending the game to overtime. And the game was far from over still.

In extra time, Olympiakos took the lead for the first time in the game when Luciano Galletti received a great pass from team captain Predrag Dordjevic and slotted the 4th goal for his team with a nice shot to the corner of the net. But the game is not over until the fat lady sings and AEK still had some singing to do.

After Galletti and Papadopoulos were sent off with second yellow cards, AEK took full advantage of the 2-man advantage to score a 4th goal in the 107th minute of the game. The Greek Cup would be decided in penalty kicks. And so it did.

More than 30 penalty kicks were necessary to decide this game! Players from both teams had to take 2 penalties each when finally Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis took matters into his own hands to decide the game. First, he saved Pelletieri’s kick and then took over the penalty spot and just like a seasoned striker beat Saja to give the title and double to his team. And so the saga ended on a beautiful Saturday night at the Olympic stadium in Athens.

Congratulations to both team for playing such an entertaining game. If only all games in the Greek Superleagues were as exciting. One can only hope!

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