The final group games in the Achilles Cup pushed it all the way in the race to qualify for the Final to see who progresses to the World Club Cup.
Fenerbahce 2 v 1 Galatasaray
In a must win game Fenerbahce raced out of the traps looking fully intent on ensuring they did what was needed to secure 3 points and hope that the Olympiacos could do them a favour at Besiktas.
With barely 60 seconds on the clock Diego raced onto a through ball from Callejon and rifled a shot from the edge of the area that flew past a stranded Muslara and in off the post to put the Yellow Canaries ahead.
This set the tone for the game with Fenerbahce constantly pushing for the cushion of a second but they had to wait until the 49th minute when Callejon was again the provider this time for Potuk who made no mistake from close range.
The home fans celebrations were somewhat subdued with news having come through from the Vodafone Arena that Besiktas were ahead meaning if that result stayed the same the score here was meaningless.
Then after the hour the news came through that Olympiacos had equalised sparking the home fans into life, but with their destiny in their own hands nerves began to creep in to the hosts and in the 82ndminute those nerves were put on edge when Pizarro set up Inan to finish sweetly and set up a tense finally.
Fenerbahce battened down the hatches determined to hold on to what they had and successfully saw out the final few minutes which culminated in an explosion of fireworks and flares as the home fans knew there team had just sneaked across the line at the death.
This tournament has never been a priority for Gala Boss Prince and he will be glad to be able to concentrate fully on league survival, Fenerbahce Chief Brown will now be hoping to see off their Greek opponents in the two legged final and take his side into the World Club Cup.
Besiktas 1 v 1 Olympiacos
Besiktas went into this game knowing a win was the only result that would definitely see them progress whilst Olympiacos had the comfort of being home and hosed, a point would be enough to ensure they topped the table and gained the 2nd leg home advantage in the final.
Olympiacos looked like they had the cigar on in a first half that saw all the threat coming from the hosts who must have wondered how they managed to go in at the interval level with Wolfswinkel spurning a hat-trick of chances.
The hosts finally got their reward on 52 minutes Vazquez turned and struck a shit from the edge of the area that Kapino managed to get a glove to but was beaten by the power.
The home crowd who had been edgy up to this point erupted turning the stadium into a deafening cauldron of noise but just after the hour they were silenced, Mogilvets split the defence with a ball through to Benitez who kept his composure one on one against Zengin to slide the ball under the onrushing keeper.
Besiktas had no reply and as the clock ticked away their resolve visibly ebbed. The news had filtered through from Fenerbahce and at the final whistle to a man they looked visibly distraught as their Greek opponents celebrated around them.
Vogeleer will be devastated to have failed to qualify after being in the frame for the majority of the group stage, his opposite number McLean will be looking forward to locking horns with his countryman Brown in Achilles Cup final with a Highland twist.
Group Final Standings
Final 1st Leg – Weds 20th April
Fenerbahce v Olympiacos
Final 2nd Leg – Wed 27th April
Olympiacos v Fenerbahce
'on 52 minutes Vazquez turned and struck a shit' – Yes, Kapino was seen vigorously rubbing his hand into the grass after that one. He didn't then have to bring his mitts up to his nose to smell them – but he did. Ewww!
Well done again, on a great post.