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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 14 April 2018
SPORT 26 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 14 APRIL 2018 Olympiakos makes history in European volleyball competition Greek women’s team beat Bursa by 3-1 On Wednesday, Olympiakos' women’s team made history as they defeated Bursa in Turkey by 3-1, winning the 2018 CEV Volleyball Challenge Cup. This is the first title for Greece in Europe's annual third-tier club European Volleyball Confederation competition. Olympiakos lost the first set 25-23, but made an impressive comeback for the following three sets, winning by 2520, 25-18 and 25-16. This was the first European title of the Piraeus club, which avenged the loss of the title at last year's final, against Bursa. Team captain Styliani Christodoulou also won MVP of the finals. DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Roma’s defender Kostas Manolas celebrates the winning goal which knocked out Barcelona in the Champions League. PHOTO: AS ROMA FACEBOOK Greek defender breaks Catalan hearts in Rome Spartans beat Melbourne High School in season opener On Saturday on a sunny afternoon the Hawthorn Spartans had a fantastic start to their VAFA season in a great team effort at Melbourne High's football oval defeating Melbourne High School Old Boys by 84 points. With six new players all playing well, 10 different goal-kickers, over 70 overlap runs, and 33 scoring shots, the defence only conceded four goals, and the loud rendition of the club theme song with six debutantes in the middle capped off a great win for the Spartans. The final score was Spartans 17, 16, 118 and Melbourne High School Old Boys 4, 10, 40. Goal kickers J Giorgini 5, B Duarte 2, J Farah 2, A Mitropoulos 2, D Coignet 1, A Coignet 1, C Pana 1, A Pana 1, C Smith 1, and S Speer 1. Best players N Criticos, J Giorgini, A Karim, C Pana, C Smith, B Duarte, A Demetriou, and J Farah. Today, Saturday 14 April, the Spartans play at home, Rathmines Road Reserve, Rathmines Road, Hawthorn East at 11.40 am against last year's finalist, Richmond Central. Italian Serie A club AS Roma staged a stunning turnaround midweek to knock out one of the favourites, Barcelona, and stake a place in the semifinals of the UEFA Champions League. And the man who sent Roma marching on and Barcelona tumbling out of the tournament, was Roma's Greek central defender Kostas Manolas. With less than 10 minutes of the second leg at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome remaining, Roma led the tie 2-0 thanks to goals from Dzeko and De Rossi, but they still trailed 4-3 on aggregate after their 4-1 away loss to Barca in the first leg. With the match ticking over into the 80th minute, Roma won a corner which Kolarov fired toward the near post. Manolas was first to get his head to the ball ahead of Suarez, glancing it past Barcelona keeper Marc-André ter Stegen, just inside the far post to set off wild celebrations among the Romans.The goal capped a remarkable comeback for them. The manner of the win, and the part he played, was especially satisfying for Manolas who, along with teammate De Rossi, had the misfortune of scoring an own goal in the 4-1 defeat at Camp Nou in the first leg. But the football fates gave them both a shot at redemption which they grabbed emphatically by each scoring in the 3-0 win that knocked out the Spanish giants, who were undefeated in both their domestic league competition and the Champions League. Roma played a 3-4-2-1 formation, pressing Barcelona with great intensity high up the pitch, not allowing the Catalans to play out of defence with any fluency, and starving Messi, Iniesta, and Suarez of the ball, especially in the final third. The home team was able to sustain the pressure and exploit their height and physical advantage over the smaller Barcelona team. Tall forward Dzeko especially proved a match winner for Roma. Just like Barca, another team many tipped to reach the final, Manchester City, was also knocked out. Unlike Roma, Manchester City was unable to overcome a three-goal away deficit to Liverpool from the first leg, bowing out 5-1 on aggregate following a 2-1 home loss to the Reds on Wednesday morning. Despite Gabriel Jesus's early goal giving City the lead in the reverse tie, Liverpool hit back with goals to Mohamed Salah and Robert Firmino to give Jurgen Klopp's Reds safe passage into the Champions League semifinals for the first time in 10 years. Panathinaikos players on strike over unpaid wages dispute The players haven’t been paid since October 2017 Panathinaikos players are on strike over unpaid wages. The protest commenced on Monday and concerns wages from late 2017, along with all payments from 2018 so far. The players have reportedly told club president Vasilis Konstantinou that PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES they will not return unless they are paid their December instalment at the very least. Meanwhile, BBC Sport reported that the club has said players would be receiving their December payment on Thursday, with Sunday's Superleague game against Atromitos expected to go ahead. Currently sitting 11th out of 16 teams, last week Superleague Greece gave Panathinaikos a three-point fine for failing to pay their debts to former German de- fender Jens Wemmer, who they owe €498,322 in unpaid wages. The Athens-based club has been experiencing financial hardship since it was abandoned at the start of the season in September 2017 by owner Giannis Alafouzos.
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