Olympiacos took control of the UEFA Champions League playoffs after the guests showed a strong defensive play.
Olympiacos vs Omonoya: as it turned out, the reaction
Briefly about the match
The Greek champions dominated the first half, although Omonoi's strong defenses largely thwarted their attacks. Mohamed Camara bit Fabiano with a powerful long range strike and Ahmed Hassan headed the net after a pass from Mathieu Valbuena, before Costas Fortunis, in good position, shot over the crossbar.
Omonoya's resolve eventually broke down in the second period as well. Jan Lečiaks missed a penalty after a walking race with Lazar Rangelovic, asking Valbuena to realize an accurate shot from a point. El Arabi then added a sensational second on his last breath, expertly pivoting to make room before delivering a low long-range kick into the corner of the goal.
Vasiliki Papantonopoulou, correspondent for Olympiacos
Olympiacos were made to work hard to break the deadlock against the stubborn Omonoia. The Piraeus team dominated the entire meeting, but were rather wasteful in the first half. They were more dangerous after the hour mark when coach Pedro Martins introduced Rangelovic and El Arabi. The first received a fine, which Valbuena sent. With a great match rhythm and competitive play, Martins' men may have been more clinical. This was their third outing of the season, so expect them to improve in a week in Nicosia.
John Leonidou, reporter for Omonoia
It could be argued that Henning Berg got his game plan right before the penalty kick and El Arabi's late shot. The Cypriot guests arrived in Piraeus to detain Olympiacos and they did a decent job before the match kicked off. Omonia has all things to do in Nicosia next week. They will need to do what no other Cypriot team has achieved and overcome the two goal deficit in play-offs.
Pedro Martins, coach " Olympiacos ": “It was very important that we improved a lot in the second half. – we had the best rhythm. We were supposed to play like this in the first half, but we are happy with the fact that we did not face anything. danger in protection. Their best player was their goalkeeper, who made at least two of their best saves. We have demonstrated strength of character and determination to win. "
Mathieu Valbuena, striker " Olympiacos ": “It was very important to win a match in which we did not play very well. It was a very difficult start to the season and we are still in preparation. We will still be very focused. for the return match, but it was important to score the second goal so that we could more calmly and confidently approach the match in Cyprus. "
Henning Berg, coach " Omonia " : “We fought well and still fought for quite a while. We were out of luck when we conceded a penalty kick and then that late goal. We defended well against a team that is much better than us. We are all at home and doing everything in our power to get through. We need to be a little better in our attacking game and have better accuracy and timing. If we can do it, we can score. "
Jordi Gomez, captain " Omonia " : “We did a good job and we are disappointed with a penalty and then the second goal in the last minute. On the whole, they were better than us, and we have to accept that. We had chances, but we could not score. We're going to need a perfect game [in Nicosia]. The checking account is difficult, but we will do our best. "
• The Greek club have won only the second time in their last six UEFA home games (D2 L2).
• Olympiacos are unbeaten in 17 European qualifiers (W14, D3) following a 1-0 defeat to Hapoel Beer-Sheva in the 2016/17 UEFA Champions League third qualifying round.
• Olympiacos have recorded two wins and losses against Cypriot clubs since their 1965 matches against these rivals.
• IN Omonoya have tied both previous Champions League qualifiers this season, winning twice in extra time.
• The Cypriot champions have lost only for the second time in their last 13 European games (W7 D4).
Olympiacos : Jose Sa; Rafinha, Semedo, Ba, Holebas; Bushalakis, Kamara; Valbuena, Fortunis (El Arabi 59), Masura (Rangelovic 59); Ahmed Hassan (M & #039; Vila 76)
Omonoya : Fabiano; Gubochan, Luftner, Lang, Lechjax; Bauteak (Loizu 87), Jordi Gomez, Vitor Gomes; Papulis (Asante 81), Sen (Durish 46), Thiago
The return leg will take place in Nicosia on Tuesday 29 September. The winner takes part in the UEFA Champions League group stage draw to take place on 1 October in Nyon.