Ten-man Olympiacos side secure draw at home against Wolves

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Ten-man Olympiacos drew 1-1 with Wolves in Piraeus on Thursday in the first leg of the Europa League Round of 16 tie that is unknown when and if it will see its second leg played.

The low-key affair, played behind closed doors at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium to contain the spread of the coronavirus epidemic, involved nine Portuguese players and two Portuguese coaches.

As if missing its fans was not enough, Olympiakos was reduced to 10 from as early as the 28th minute, when Ruben Semedo saw a straight red for a foul on Diogo Jota.

Despite the numerical disadvantage Olympiakos held its English visitor with relative ease in the rest of the first half.

In two or three occasions the Reds managed to make some inroads into the Wolves’ defence from the right, and in one of those Mady Camara picked Guilherme inside the area and he slid the ball across the goal to the path of Youssef El-Arabi who scored from close range on the 54th minute.

The Greeks’ lead was quite short-lived as on the 67th Pedro Neto’s shot after a Joao Moutinho free kick went in off the boot of Andreas Bouchalakis for 1-1.

Wolves went out in search of a winner, but Olympiakos keeper Jose Sa denied the visitors three times, one of them with his very face.

The second leg is supposed to be played on March 19 at Wolverhampton, but the future of the tie and of all European competitions will be decided next Tuesday when European soccer’s ruling body UEFA holds a conference call to help contain the growing epidemic.

Olympiacos owner Evangelos Marinakis had tested positive for the virus, but the Greek club’s squad and staff were screened ahead of the game and tested negative.

Prior to the match, Wolves manager Nuno Espirito Santo thought it was “absurd” to keep football going amid the widespread chaos caused by the coronavirus outbreak. 

“You play a game of football and then realise what is happening worldwide – people dead and dying. Then we play a game of football – it’s absurd,” he told BT Sport  ahead of kick-off in Athens.

Sourced by: Ekatherimi

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