Panathinaikos Wins Greek Cup, Beating Aris 1-0

Panathinaikos win 20th Cup in their history
Panathinaikos beat Aris 1-0 and win the Greek Football Cup. Credit: AMNA

With a goal from Giorgos Vagiannidis in the seventh minute of stoppage time, Panathinaikos won the 2023-2024 Greek Cup leaving Aris empty-handed.

It was a game that would have fans of both teams at the edge of their seats, but there were no fans at Panthessalic Stadium in the Central Greek city of Volos on Saturday night.

It took 97 minutes, with three players being sent off by the referee and one man coming from the green bench to score the winning goal to give Panathinaikos their 20th Greek Cup trophy.

This was also the first match in Greek football history with a female referee, the French 40-year-old Stephanie Frappart.

The two teams started with the following lineups:

Aris: Cuesta, Odubajo, Fabiano, Brabec, Montoya, Mvondo, Darida, Manu Garcia, Suleymanov, Zamora, Moron.

Panathinaikos: Lodingin, Jedvaj, Arao, Kotsiras, Juancar, Cerin, Ruben Perez, Mancini, Bernard, Bakasetas, Ioannidis.

Hard marking that brought five yellow cards, one good chance to score for each team and that was the first half of the Greek Cup final. Both teams gave priority to their defensive game.

In the second half, both teams tried to score and the game became more physical. The French referee sent off two Aris players and one of Panathinaikos.

The 80th Greek Cup final found Panathinaikos and Aris playing in an empty stadium under the slogan “Football is Life”.

Panathinaikos and Aris in the 80th Greek Cup

With the slogan “Football is life” and a series of events the Hellenic Football Federation (EPO) hailed the 80th final of the Greek Cup.

From the semi-final stage of the competition, football teams and the federation joined their voices and forces against the phenomena of violence and hooliganism in an effort to eliminate them. The action against violence started with the semi-final of the Hellenic Cup between Panaitolikos and Aris on Tuesday, February 13, and continued in the games that took place in this particular stage of the competition from which the current finalists emerged.

EPO emphasizes that it will continue to fight towards the elimination of any form of violence in sports and any action that is contrary to the noble rivalry with the slogan “Football Is Life.”

Watching the empty stands in the lifeless Panthessalic Stadium the slogan EPO chose for the competition sounds ironic. This was the fourth Greek Cup final in five years without the fans. All four times EPO and the Hellenic Police agreed to have the games played behind closed doors in fear of riots and fights between the fans of the two teams. One of the several uniquely Greek phenomena: a major sports event without people attending.

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