Olympiakos Triumphs in Europa Conference League Final with Late El Kaabi Goal

Olympiakos clinched their first major European trophy by defeating Fiorentina 1-0 in the Europa Conference League final, thanks to a late goal by Ayoub El Kaabi. The intense match saw no goals in regular time, but El Kaabi's 116th-minute strike, confirmed by VAR, secured victory for the Greek side.

Reuters | Updated: 30-05-2024 03:36 IST | Created: 30-05-2024 03:36 IST
Olympiakos Triumphs in Europa Conference League Final with Late El Kaabi Goal
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Olympiakos beat Fiorentina 1-0 after extra time in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday to win the club's first major European trophy, thanks to a late winner from Ayoub El Kaabi.

In a match that was high on intensity and physicality but low on quality in front of goal, neither side could find the net in the regulation 90 minutes before El Kaabi netted the winner in the 116th minute. With the game seemingly headed to a penalty shootout, El Kaabi got in front of his marker to bundle in Santiago Hezze's cross but the players and fans had a long, nervous wait for VAR to check for offside before the goal was awarded.

It was the Morocco striker's 11th goal in the Conference League this season, all of them in the knockout stages. He scored five across two legs when they beat Premier League side Aston Villa in the semi-finals. The Greek fans in the AEK Arena erupted when the ball went in and the volume went up once again when VAR confirmed the goal.

Outside the stadium, thousands of Olympiakos fans gathered at the port of Piraeus and celebrated wildly after the final whistle, lighting red flares and fireworks. Olympiakos became the first Greek club to lift a European trophy, with Panathinaikos coming closest in 1971 when they lost the European Cup final to Ajax Amsterdam.

The result marked a second consecutive defeat in the Europa Conference League final for Fiorentina, who had reached this season's summit clash without losing a single game. Vincenzo Italiano's side also lost the Coppa Italia final last season, marking three cup final defeats in two years as the wait for a first trophy since 2001 continues.

"Amazing, for Olympiakos and me. Really proud of my guys," 34-year-old forward Stevan Jovetic, who spent five years at Fiorentina, told TNT Sports. "We did great all year and deserved it. I have to compliment Fiorentina. (Losing) two years in a row, a shame for them."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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