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Olympiakos crowned winners of the Europa Conference League

Olympiakos players jubilate upon lifting their Europa Conference League Trophy

Ayoub El Kaabi struck four minutes from the end of extra time as Olympiakos beat Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final to become the first Greek side to win a European trophy.

The Moroccan striker, hero of Olympiakos’ run to the final, stooped low to head in Santiago Hezze’s cross and spark pandemonium in the AEK Arena in Athens.

A lengthy video assistant referee check confirmed El Kaabi’s 11th goal of the competition and their place in Greek footballing history.

Olympiakos striker Ayoub El Kaabi has scored 11 goals in the Europa Conference League this season. [Getty images]
It is a second year of dramatic heartbreak for Fiorentina after the Italian side were beaten by West Ham in last season’s final thanks to Jarrod Bowen’s late goal.

Olympiakos flew out of the blocks as they attempted to reward their ferocious support, who had travelled the short distance from Piraeus to the home of their rivals AEK in northern Athens.

It was only the second time a Greek team had reached a European final while Fiorentina were playing in their sixth.

Olympiacos and Nottingham Forest owner Evangelos Marinakis joined in on the celebrations.

Both sides traded blows in a first half that promised goalmouth action but resulted in few clear chances.

On-loan Wolves midfielder Daniel Podence forced Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano into a fine save down his left in the opening three minutes.

Giacomo Bonaventura should have given Fiorentina the lead but his tentative effort in the box safely dropped into Konstantinos Tzolakis’ arms.

The Italians put together the best move of the night in the second half as right-back Dodo surged forward and found Christian Kouame in space inside the box but his poor contact on the ball allowed Tzolakis to claw it clear.

Extra time was needed it was El Kaabi – who scored five goals in the semi-finals against Aston Villa – who rose to the occasion again.

Derek Kanalo
the authorDerek Kanalo
News Reporter/ Editor
Am a professionally trained and well skilled media personality. Accuracy is part of my top priority as a journalist.