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SportsOlympiakos beat Fiorentina in Europa Conference League final to make history

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Olympiakos beat Fiorentina in Europa Conference League final to make history

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

The Moroccan striker, a key player in Olympiakos‘ journey to the final, scored with a low header from Santiago Hezze’s cross, igniting celebrations at the AEK Arena in Athens. A lengthy video assistant referee check confirmed El Kaabi’s 11th goal of the competition and secured their place in Greek football history.

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This victory marks the second consecutive year of heartbreak for Fiorentina, who lost last season’s final to West Ham due to a late goal by Jarrod Bowen.

Olympiakos started strong, fueled by their passionate supporters who had traveled from Piraeus to the home of their rivals AEK in northern Athens. This match was only the second time a Greek team reached a European final, while it was Fiorentina’s sixth appearance.

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Both teams had opportunities in a first half that promised excitement but produced few clear chances. On-loan Wolves midfielder Daniel Podence forced a fine save from Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano early on. Giacomo Bonaventura had a chance to give Fiorentina the lead, but his effort was easily saved by Konstantinos Tzolakis.

Fiorentina created the best move of the night in the second half when right-back Dodo surged forward and found Christian Kouame in space, but Kouame’s poor contact allowed Tzolakis to clear the ball.

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

Olympiakos, underdogs against Fiorentina, thrashed Unai Emery’s Aston Villa 6-2 on aggregate in the semi-finals. Panathinaikos was the only previous Greek team to reach a European final, losing to Ajax in the 1971 European Cup final at Wembley.

As the game neared its end, with chances becoming scarce, it seemed both sides were preparing for a penalty shootout. However, Olympiakos committed men forward in a late attack, and the 30-year-old El Kaabi, whose career spans Morocco, China, Turkey, Qatar, and now Greece, was in the right place to secure his place in Olympiakos folklore.

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