PIRAEUS – Greek soccer power Olympiacos drew 2-2 with Ukraine Dnipro, but that wasn’t good enough to keep it from being bounced out of the Europa League tourney.
Dnipro had won 2-0 in Ukraine and under European soccer rules the Greek team had to win by at least much at home, making the game meaningless once it was apparent that wasn’t going to happen.
The Reds played most of the second half a man down, giving them virtually no chance to get the edge they needed to advance in the tourney, another in a long run of disappointing performances for the Pireaeus eam.
The game started good when Costas Mitroglou broke free inside the box, taking a Luka Milivojevic pass, to slam home the first goal.
But eight minutes later a free-kick from the left taken by Ruslan Rotan was stopped by goalie Roberto but he let it rebound and Artem Fedetskiy headed in the equalizer.
Milivojevic got a red card and an ejection almost as soon as the second half started when he tackled an opponent from behind, an egregious foul that ended his team’s chances.
In the last few minutes, Olympiacos, thanks to a penalty on Dnipro, got a scored from Chori Dominguez to make it 2-0 but the joy didn’t last long as Croat striker Nikola Kalinic blew past the Reds defenders and rifled home the tying goal to end it.
“That’s not how we dream of Olympiakos” chanted the home fans on their way out of the Karaiskakis Stadium.