Olympiacos retain trophy in electrifying atmosphere

Olympiacos reclaimed the Super Cup and became the third team in history to win back-to-back titles. In the all-Greek, all-Piraeus final they showed some outstanding defending to beat Ethnikos by seven goals. Olympiacos are now tied-first with Spain’s Sabadell on the all-time ranks with three Super Cup triumphs.

Women’s Super Cup, final: Olympiacos Piraeus (GRE) v Ethnikos Piraeus (GRE) 11-4 

Though Ethnikos took the better start, opened the scoring and Eleni Sotireli stopped a penalty, but soon Olympiacos started rolling, as expected, hit two in 34 seconds and added one more to lead 3-1 after eight minutes.

Though a nice action goal halved the distance early in the second, soon Ethnikos’ problems started getting more and more visible. And that was their man-up play. They couldn’t put the ball away in 6 on 5s which partly credited the reds’ defence, but since they closed the game with a disastrous 0 for 11, that also told something of their composure in front.

Without man-up goals they didn’t have any chance against the mighty European champions. Even though Olympiacos’ offense wasn’t that overwhelming either (Ethnikos’ special zone which usually put a player almost next to the goalie caused some problems for them too), still, it was efficient enough to widen the gap quarter by quarter. 

Limiting Ethnikos to a single action goal per period, their victory was never in question – they led 5-2 at halftime and 7-3 before the last break. The LEN Trophy winners started the final period with a fine goal from the centre goal from Alkistis Benekou but their momentum gone 21 seconds as Ioanna Chydirioti replied from action immediately for 8-4.

Then Olympiacos killed three man-downs in a row before Nicol Eleftheriadou hit another one from action, and towards the end two goals from 6 on 5s truly mirrored the difference between the sides.

Eight months after the Euro League Final Four fiesta in this pool, Olympiacos could celebrate another trophy – their second Super Cup in as many years. They join fellow Greek side Vouliagmeni (2009 and 2010) and Spain’s Sabadell (2013 and 2014) in winning back-to-back titles – and also caught up Sabadell on the all-time ranks as this was their third Super Cup after 2015 and 2021, while Ethnikos lost their second final after 2010, that time they were beaten by Vouliagmeni, so they are not really lucky with playing against fellow Greek teams.

Quotes

Alexandar Ciric, coach, Olympiacos

“We are happy for another great achievement! I am proud of this team, of these girls, of this club. It was a nice final here, in the National pool of Piraeus, and we celebrated, together with the Olympiacos fans, another European title. It’s the seventh European title for this team, I’m happy to belong here! Congratulations to everyone, let’s keep going strong to achieve all our goals.”

Margarita Plevritou, player, Olympiacos

“This is our seventh European title and the feeling is unique every time. I am proud to be a member of such a team, with so much quality and in every game, we show our teamwork, finally getting what we deserve.”

Stefanos Leandros, coach, Ethnikos

“It’s a big honour to participate in a European final and we are delighted to be here today. I am incredibly proud of my players, and we will keep fighting till the end of the season in the Greek championship and also in the Euro Cup. Today, Greek water polo was celebrating with this game of Olympiacos and Ethnikos, and our city Piraeus should be very proud of his teams. Piraeus is the centre of European Water polo. Congratulations to Olympiacos and Mr. Ciric for this success. We already feel excitements for the upcoming games in the LEN Euro Cup.”

Alkisti Benekou, player, Ethnikos

“We were ready for this final. We were prepared well, and we are proud of our team. It is very important for our club to be able to play in a European final and we are hoping for better days. I believe we lost so many chances in extras and that cost us the title. Congratulations to Olympiacos. It’s a real celebration of Greek water polo anyway.”