Last-gasp Kostas Mitroglou effort lifts Olympiakos against Montpellier

A last-gasp goal from substitute Kostas Mitroglou kept Greek champions Olympiakos' Champions League hopes alive on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over hosts Montpellier.

Updated: October 25, 2012 07:59 IST
  • Total Shares

Montpellier: A last-gasp goal from substitute Kostas Mitroglou kept Greek champions Olympiakos' Champions League hopes alive on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over hosts Montpellier.

The Greek side left it late after trailing a goal down when Gaetan Charbonnier, playing just a few months ago in Ligue 2, scored his first European goal for the French champions just after the break.

But Olympiakos captain Vasilis Torosides grabbed the equaliser after 73 minutes, and Mitroglou, 24, scored a minute into injury time to give the Greek side their first points of the campaign.

"We woke up after the Montpellier goal," said Olympiakos coach Leonardo Jardim.

"A match lasts 90 minutes so it's a deserved victory because we had the strength to believe until the bitter end and the team spirit which allowed us to prevail."

Olympiakos are third in Group B after three games, with Montpellier taking over the bottom spot with one point as Germany's Schalke lead with seven points, one point ahead of English giants Arsenal.

"Stunned? No. Disappointed, yes," admitted Montpellier coach Rene Girard.

"Since the start of the season we've had a lot of matches like that which we didn't deserve to lose. It's not a physical problem, it's a tactical one. What bothered me most was that everyone was doing their own thing."

Girard, who followed the match from the stands due to a touchline ban, had surprised by opting for Laurent Pionnier in goal over Geoffroy Jourdren with Charbonnier up front.

The hosts however controlled early play but despite dominating went into the locker room at half-time with little to show for their efforts largely thanks to the efforts of Northern Ireland veteran Roy Carroll.

Younes Belhanda had the first effort at goal after eight minutes but his drive went wide. It was then the turn of John Utaka whose 20th-minute effort was blocked, and three minutes before the break Carroll kept out another Charbonnier shot.

But back after the break the hosts piled on the pressure and the 23-year-old Charbonnier, playing in his first European match, volleyed past Carroll from the edge of the box four minutes into the half.

The visitors however pushed forward and Torosidis grabbed the equaliser after 73 minutes when the 27-year-old Greek international held off Souleymane Camara before controlling the ball with his knee to fire home to level proceedings.

Belhanda missed the chance for Montpellier to pull ahead again a minute later.

And in a frantic finale two substitutes combined to grab the winner as Djamel Abdoun beat Henri Bedimo and fed Mitroglou, allowing the striker to slot the ball easily past Pionnier for a precious three points.

"They (Montpellier) were perhaps tired at the end of the second half, and that allowed us to claim a victory which was 100 percent deserved," said Jardim

"Victory allows us to dream of qualification for the last-16. We have two matches at home, so qualification remains our goal."

Girard added: "The third place isn't totally lost, we have to go looking for points at Arsenal or Olympiakos, but it's very complicated hosting Schalke, they're having a very good run."

For the latest Sports news , like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter and get the NDTV Cricket app for Android or iOS

  • Football

Leave a comment