Olympiacos 2-1 Standard Liege: Super Sub Stoltidis Stuns Standard
The Greeks take a big step towards qualification for the group stages.
Ieroklis Stoltidis proved the hero for Olympiacos when his stoppage time strike condemned Standard Liege to a heartbreaking defeat after it had looked like the visitors would manage a draw, thanks largely to a fine performance from Sinan Bolat in goal.
Stoltidis was on hand to head home from Luciano Galetti’s late corner and give the home side all three points in an entertaining contest.
The home side settled into a rhythm early on but as the first half wore on the Belgian visitors fought their way into the game. Neither side displayed the necessary quality in the final third to finish some fine attacking moves until De Camargo struck with 37 minutes gone to give the visitors the lead.
His goal was a well worked effort too as Valencia target Milan Jovanovic slipped a neat through ball into the box and Standard’s captain De Camargo was on hand to fire the visitors into a surprise lead.
That lead didn’t last long however as the Greek side pulled themselves level just before the break with Konstantinos Mitroglou winning a free-kick for his side inside Belgian territory before heading home from the resulting set piece to equalise.
After an action packed first 45, 1-1 was probably a fair scoreline going in at the break but the home side began to assert their dominance after the interval with the busy Luciano Galetti bringing a fine save from Bolat while Olof Mellberg went close soon after but couldn’t keep his header on target from Galetti’s free-kick.
Olympiacos were certainly in control in the early stages of the second period but failed to make their pressure tell with Jaouad Zairi wasteful in the final third just when they needed a quality final ball to unlock the Standard defence.
The visitors countered with 20 minutes remaining and could have snatched a lead but Jovanovic’s effort smashed against the crossbar with Antonio Nikopolidis well beaten.
Zairi was replaced by Stoltidis as Zico looked for a fresh impetus but although the continued to probe the goal the sought failed to come.
They had chances to win it, most notably from Galetti and Michal Zewlakow and just when it looked like Bolat had kept Olympiacos at bay it was the substitute Stoltidis that grabbed the winner in stoppage time.