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MALMO, Sweden — Markus Rosenberg scored twice as Malmo beat Olympiakos 2-0 on Oct. 1 for its first Champions League victory.

The Malmo captain capitalized on slack defending to put his team ahead four minutes before halftime in the Group A match, and sealed it with a strike in the 82nd minute.

“I didn’t hit it right but it went in anyway,” Rosenberg said of his second goal. “We’re strong at home and we’re not afraid. We’ve believed in this since the very start.”

Malmo reached the final in 1979 when the competition was known as the European Cup, but this year is the first time the Swedish club has reached the group stage since it became the Champions League in 1992.

All four clubs in the group now have three points from two games, with Atletico beating Juventus 1-0 in the other match.

Olympiakos controlled possession but couldn’t beat Malmo goalkeeper Robin Olsen, who didn’t concede a single goal at home in the qualifying rounds.

Luka Milivojevic and Giannis Maniatis had good chances for Olympiakos in the first half but their team fell behind in the 42nd after Alberto Botia failed to contain Rosenberg.

The 32-year-old striker took snatched the ball from Botia’s feet, poked it at Olympiakos goalkeeper Roberto and then slotted the rebound into an open goal.

Olympiakos wanted a penalty 10 minutes into the second half but referee Sergei Karasev booked Maniatis for diving after a clash with a Malmo defender in the area.

“The team played with character and determination. But we made many mistakes in defense and paid for them dearly,” Olympiakos coach Michel Gonzalez said.

The Greek club pressed for an equalizer and came close with attempts from Kostas Mitroglou, Maniatis and second-half substitute Jimmy Durmaz, a former Malmo player.

Meanwhile they looked vulnerable to Malmo’s counterattacks and could have gone down 2-0 down when Isaac Kiese Thelin headed Magnus Eriksson’s cross straight onto Roberto and then failed to get the rebound on target.

Malmo clinched the win after Thelin flicked the ball to Pawel Cibicki, who found Rosenberg in the area. The Malmo striker didn’t get a clean shot away — but the ball still found its way into the far corner via the post.

“Three points in the group stage here in the Champions League, that’s huge,” Rosenberg said. “Even if they had the ball a lot, it was mostly in their own half. In our half, they didn’t have a lot of possession.”

Malmo lost its opening match 2-0 away to Juventus while Olympiakos beat Atletico Madrid 3-2 at home.

The post Malmo Knocks Down Olympiakos, 2-0 appeared first on The National Herald.

Source: The National Herald
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