Olympiacos Piraeus on Tuesday night beat Rijeka in Croatia 1-0 in the qualifying playoffs and is back in the Champions League group stage after being absent for one season.
The Greek side went to Croatia carrying a 2-1 win in Piraeus from six days ago, branded as favorites to qualify for the Champions League. They managed to win in the second leg as well, thanks to a goal by Marko Marin in the 25th minute.
Rijeka started by putting the pressure on the Greek champions early on. After missing two very good chances to score in the first 25 minutes, Olympiacos managed to be the team that put the ball in the net.
It was in the 25th when the Piraeus team went to the counter attack with Mehdi Carcela stealing the ball in midfield, passing it quickly to Vadis Odjidja Ofoe who gave a great assist to Marin who scored.
With good defense, Olympiacos managed to keep the Croatians away from the box for the most part. In the last 20 minutes of the game, Rijeka intensified their efforts and missed three great chances to equalize. The Greek team had two good chances to score as well towards the end of the game.
“Olympiacos are back where they belong, in the European elite,” commented owner Vangelis Marinakis after the match.
The Olympiacos win was worth 1,000 points in the UEFA point system, catapulting Greece into 12th place in the European rankings, surpassing the Czech Republic and Austria.