AEK Athens won their 14th Greek Cup Saturday edging Atromitos 3-0 in the final at the Athens Olympic Stadium in a match overshadowed by violent clashes between the two sets of fans.
Veteran striker Nikos Liberopoulos (28th minute), Moroccan forward Baha Nabil (77) and midfielder Pandelis Kafes (84) settled the tie in front of 60,000 people.
The signs were not good from the start, when AEK and Atromitos fans threw flares at each other as the national anthem was being played before the game.
Referee Tassos Kakos was forced to blow the whistle just a minute into a nine-minute injury time after hundreds of AEK fans invaded the pitch. Many rushed to celebrate with their players, but others headed toward the VIP stands where family members and friends of the Atromitos players were seated, throwing projectiles at them.
Atromitos coach Giorgos Donis asserted that some aimed pistols at the VIP spectators.
“I’ve never seen this in a game, ever, players having to fight to save their families … they were pointing pistols at them,” Donis said.
Atromitos players rushed to defend their kin and friends and exchanged blows with the AEK fans before riot police intervened, swinging clubs and throwing tear gas.
AEK (Manolo Jimenez) – Saja, Karabelas, Dellas, Manolas, Georgeas, Diop, Makos, Lagos, Scocco (Baha 32′), Lyberopoulos (C), Blanco (Kafes 70′)
Atromitos (Giorgos Donis) – Itandje, Nastos, Baszczynski, Nebegleras (C), Camara (Sambou 89′), Anastasakos, Sfakianakis, Saganowski (Brito 66′), Tatos, Oliveira (Sarmiento 82′), Skondras
Goals – Lyberopoulos (29′), Baha (78′), Kafes (85′)
Bookings – Makos (24′), Skondras (24′), Lyberopoulos (30′), Nebegleras (43′), Diop (63′), Kafes (88′)