Less than a week after winning the Greek League, Olympiacos clinched a new trophy.
Olympiacos won the Greek Cup for the 22nd time in the club’s history. This is, also, the 19th “double crown” (Greek Championship and Cup in the same season) for the Piraeus-based club.
The Final Eight of the Greek Cup was held in Vouliagmeni. Olympiacos ran over AEK in the final game (20:4).
The gold-medal match wasn’t exciting, but there were a few thrilling matches at the tournament,
AEK, which finished 8th in the Greek League, was a surprise team of the Final Eight. AEK water polo players defeated Panionios after a penalty shootout in the quarterfinals. A day later, they upset Peristeri in the semifinals (8:6), but Olympiacos was too strong in the gold-medal match.
Still, AEK water polo players have to be happy after the tournament. By reaching the final, they secured a spot in the LEN Euro Cup. A winner of the Greek Cup qualifies for the LEN Euro Cup, but Olympiacos is the national champion and it will play in the Champions League. Therefore, AEK earned a ticket for the second-tier European water polo competition for clubs.
Quarterfinals: Panionios – AEK 12:13 (PSO), Vouliagmeni – Apollon 11:10, PAOK – Peristeri 9:11, Olympiacos – Ydraikos 18:9.
Semifinals: Olympiacos – Vouliagmeni 9:7, Peristeri – AEK 6:8.
Final: Olympiacos – AEK 20:4
Olympiacos – Ydraikos 18:9 (5:1, 3:2, 5:2, 5:4)
Olympiacos: Genidounias 6, Dervisis 3, Kapotsis 3, Daube 1, Skoumpakis 1, Argyropoulos – Kanakakis 2, Prekas 1, Grammatikos 1.
Ydraikos: Thalassinos 2, Foskolos 2, Kalavgokis 2, Tsistrakis 1, Blanis 1, Papadogonas 1,.
PAOK – Peristeri 9:11 (2:2, 1:2, 2:2 , 4:5)
PAOK: Radonjic 4, Giannopoulos 3, Kechalaris 2.
Peristeri: Karountzos 6, Papanikolaou 1, Ladas 1, Farmer 1, Koukoumakis 1, Mironov 1.
Vouliagmeni – Apollon Smyrnis 11:10 (2:1, 2:1, 3:5, 4:3)
Vouliagmeni: Afroudakis 3, Gkiouvetsis 2, Troulos 2, Kourovanis 1, Alafragkis 1, Mylonakis 1, Lozina 1.
Apollon Smyrnis: Moskov 3, Gounas 2, Alamanos 2, Bowen 1, Solanakis 1, Goniotakis 1.
Panionios – AEK 12:13 ( 3:3, 3:1, 1:1, 0:2, PSO 5:6)
Panionios: Kapetanakis 3,Braimis 2, Gavalas 1, Kalaitzis 2, Zouridis 2, Dimou 2.
AEK: Kourliaftis 5, Vukcevic 3, Stellatos 2, Papakos 2, Koutsialis 1.
The derby of the first day was an encounter between host Vouliagmeni and Apollon. Vouliagmeni had a 2-goal advantage at halftime. Apollon equalized (7:7) before the last quarter. The hosts, led by Christos Afroudakis, who retired after the tournament, controlled the match in the fourth period. They rebuilt a 2-goal lead twice (10:8, 11:9) and saved the victory.
Olympiacos trashed Ydraikos, Peristeri beat PAOK, while AEK defeated Panionios in a thrilling game. Panionios had a 6:4 lead before the fourth period, but AEK secured a penalty shootout, with Nikola Vukcevic’s goal 52 seconds from the end. AEK water polo players were calmer in the shootout. They didn’t miss a single shot and advanced to the semis.
Olympiacos – Vouliagmeni 9:7 (4:4, 1:0, 2:1, 2:2)
Olympiacos: Daube 3, Skoumpakis 1, Argyropoulos 1, Prekas 1, Kakaris 1, Kapotsis 1, Chrysospathis 1.
Vouliagmeni: Basic 2, Mylonakis 1, Gkiouvetsis 1, Troulos 1, Afroudakis 1, Lozina 1.
Peristeri – AEK 6:8 (0:3, 3:2, 2:2, 1:1)
Peristeri: Agortsas 2, Gerakoudis 2, Karountzos 2.
AEK: Papakos 2, Koutsialis 2, Stellatos 2, Mavrotas 1, Kazazis 1.
Vouliagmeni didn’t have luck in the drawing of lots for the F8. The hosts had hard tasks both in the quarterfinals and semifinals. They defeated Apollon on Day 1, but Olympiacos was a too high hurdle in the semifinals. Vouliagmeni dictated the pace in the first quarter and had an advantage ( 1:0, 2:1, 3:2 and 4:3). After the first break, Olympiacos tightened its defense and kept Vouliagmeni goalless for more than12 minutes. The “red-whites” earned a 2-goal advantage (6:4) early in the third period, and extended the margin to three (8:5) in the opening minutes of the final quarter. Vouliagmeni cut the deficit (7:8) four minutes before the end, but Daube closed the game with his third goal for a 9:7 win.
AEK stunned Peristeri in the first quarter of the second semifinals and earned an early 3:0 lead. That proved vital for their win because Peristeri never equalized.
Olympiacos – AEK 20:4 (7:0, 2:1, 4:2, 7:1)
Olympiacos: Genidounias 7, Skoumpakis 5, Argyropoulos 4, Chrysospathis 2, Irving 1, Kapotsis 1.
AEK: Kourolfatis 2, Vukcevic 1, Koutsialis 1.
The final was a one-sided contest. AEK couldn’t make one more surprise, and Olympiacos recorded a convincing victory with ease.
A 16-goal margin is the biggest ever difference in the history of the Greek Cup finals (this was the 43rd edition). Konstantinos Genidounias is the first player who scored seven goals in a final game.
Genidounias finished the tournament with a total of 13 goals. He was the best scored and was voted the MVP of the Final Eight. Olympiacos’ Emmanouil Zerdevas received the trophy for the best goalkeeper.
Before the men’s final, the final game of the Greek Cup for ladies was played in Vouliagmeni. Olympiacos started slowly in the final, but it defeated Vouliagmeni after a comeback – 11:8 (1:5, 4:2, 4:1, 2:0). This is the third Greek Cup for Olympiacos, which completed the season with three trophies – the Greek Championship and Cup and the LEN Euro League.