Olympiacos and Panathinaikos advanced to the gold-medal match of the Final Four of the 2022/23 Greek Men’s Cup that began in Patras today.
Olympiacos defeated its archrival Vouliagmeni (12:7) in today’s derby of the semifinals. After a 4:4 first half, Olympiacos secured a 5-goal win in the second 16 minutes. Tomorrow, Olympiacos will play for its 24th trophy in the Greek Cup.
Panathinaikos beat Ethnikos in a low-scoring battle (6:5) and qualified for the final of the Greek Cup for the second time in the club’s history and for the first time after eight years. The “Greens” debuted in the Greek Cup final in the season 2014/15 and lost to Olympiacos (10:18).
Olympiacos – Vouliagmeni 12:7 (1:2, 3:2, 3:1, 5:2)
Olympiacos: Genidounias 4, Fountoulis 3, Dimos 1, Buslje 1, Vamos 1, Kolomvos 1, Papanastasiou 1.
Vouliagmeni: Kalogeropoulos 3, Troulos 1, Nikolaidis 1, Kapotsis 1, Kourovanis 1.
The semifinal match of the Greek Cup was the second encounter between Olympiacos and Vouliagmeni this season. Ten days ago, Olympiacos beat Vouliagmeni 14:6 in the Champions League. Compared to that game, Olympiacos was without goalkeeper Marko Bijac and Filip Filipovic today. The number of foreigners is limited in the Greek League and Cup, and head coach Igor Milanovic picked Marton Vamos and Andro Buslje for this match. Bijac was replaced by Greece’s excellent goalkeeper Emannouil Zerdevas.
Vouliagmeni got off to a very good start and took a 3:1 lead (9th minute). Olympiacos answered with a 3:0 series and turned around a 2-goal deficit to a 4:3 lead. But, Vouliagmeni’s Kalogeropoulos closed the first period by converting a man-up for 4:4.
After the middle break, Olympiacos controlled the match. The “Red Whites” produced a new 3:0 run and jumped to a 7:4 lead. Before the final quarter two goals separated the rivals (7:5). However, Olympiacos opened the fourth period in the same way as the third quarter. The Piraeus-based side scored three goals in a row for the third time in the match. In the 29th minute, Vamos found the net for 10:5. Olympiacos kept a 5-goal distance until the final buzzer.
Panathinaikos – Ethnikos 6:5 (1:1, 2:1, 0:1, 3:2)
Panathinaikos: Adzic 3, Sgouridis 1, Hatzigoulas 1, Chr. Siamas 1.
Ethnikos: Mathiopoulos 2,Katsagounos 1, Beto 1, Ladas, Vallianatos 1.
The first semifinal was a close contest. The defenses worked very well throughout the game. Almost all goals were scored with a man-up, despite the fact that each team had a poor percentage of extra player shots (Panathinaikos 4/13 and Ethnikos 4/10). Both teams scored one goal apiece from penalty shots. Panathinaikos scored the only action goal in the game. Statistically, that goal made the difference.
Panathinaikos led 3:2 at halftime, but Ethnikos leveled before the final quarter of a low-scoring match (3:3). A big battle continued after a big break. Still, Ethnikos didn’t take the lead. A minute and 55 seconds before the final buzzer, Danilo Adzic scored his third goal to give the “Greens” a 6:4 advantage. At the finish of the match, Ethnikos narrowed the gap.
Read more about Greek Water Polo