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Kovacevic sets Real on the way

Published: Wednesday 17 September 2003, 23.09CET
Real Sociedad 1-0 Olympiacos CFP Real secure a narrow 1-0 win on their UEFA Champions League debut.

Match statistics

Real SociedadOlympiacos

Goals scored1
 
0
Attempts on target4
 
1
Attempts off target5
 
6
Corners8
 
0
Offsides2
 
8
Fouls committed12
 
14
Yellow cards1
 
2
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Last updated: 03/10/2013 16:21 CET

Legend:

P: Played   
Pts: Points   
 
Published: Wednesday 17 September 2003, 23.09CET

Kovacevic sets Real on the way

Real Sociedad 1-0 Olympiacos CFP Real secure a narrow 1-0 win on their UEFA Champions League debut.

Real Sociedad de Fútbol marked their UEFA Champions League debut in the best possible fashion, defeating Greek title-holders Olympiacos CFP 1-0.

Winning start
Last year's Primera División runners-up emerged from the wilderness of two decades outside top-level European football with the three points they craved in Group D. However, the Greek team proved to be solid and well-organised opponents and provided stern resistance until the 80th minute, when they conceded a penalty as Darko Kovacevic was brought down by Athanasios Kostoulas. The Serbo-Montenegrin international striker got up to slot the spot-kick past Theofanis Katergiannakis for a historic goal.

Nihat omission
Real, whose 2-0 defeat of Real Racing Club Santander on Saturday proved ideal preparation, lined up with Óscar de Paula in attack, despite the fact that Turkish forward Nihat Kahveci was available after recovering from a knee injury. Spanish international midfield player Xabi Alonso - so instrumental in last season's domestic success - also returned. For Olympiacos, Christian Karembeu was drafted into defence because of injuries to Paraskevas Antzas and Christos Patsatzoglou.

Darting Djordjevic
The visitors forced the Basque team on to the defensive almost immediately, Predrag Djordjevic darting down the left flank promisingly in the third minute. The midfield player cut into the penalty area and went down, but the referee waved play on. Djordjevic then threatened from a free-kick soon after, but his shot was blocked by the defensive wall.

Creative force
Xabi Alonso, meanwhile, proved the creative force for Real. The Spanish international, who hails from an illustrious football family - he is the youngest son of former Spain stalwart Periko Alonso - curled in a free-kick in the 29th minute which Kovacevic diverted wide of the target. Minutes later, Xabi Alonso almost freed José Barkero with a crossfield ball which was only just intercepted.

Fingertip save
It was Barkero who fashioned the most presentable opportunity of the opening period, whipping in a cross which Darkovic connected with cleanly and powerfully, forcing an impressive fingertip save from Katergiannakis.

Raised tempo
The vociferous home supporters at the Anoeta were hoping for a breakthrough in the second half and Raynald Denoueix's side emerged from the interval determined to press home their advantage. The first evidence of their more positive attitude came in the 49th minute when Barkero's purposeful cross was intercepted by Karembeu. The ball was deflected goalwards, but again Katergiannakis was equal to it, producing another excellent stop.

Nihat guile
Then, however, it was the turn of the visitors to go close, as Giovanni climbed high to meet a left-wing cross with his head in the 55th minute, although his effort failed to trouble goalkeeper Sander Westerveld. At this stage, Denoueix opted to inject some guile into his attack with the introduction of Nihat. The tactic worked admirably and the tricky striker, who scored 23 goals last season, ran Olympiacos ragged in the final stages, and was inevitably involved in the move which resulted in the decisive penalty.

Next games
Real travel to Istanbul to face Galatasaray SK in their next match in the section on 30 September. Olympiacos receive last year's beaten finalists, Juventus FC, at home the same day, the Turin side having defeated Galatasaray 2-1 tonight.

Last updated: 18/09/03 10.21CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2003/matches/round=1712/match=1056804/postmatch/report/index.html#kovacevic+sets+real

Lineups

real sociedad

Real Sociedad

olympiacos

Olympiacos

25
WesterveldSander Westerveld (GK)
22
KatergiannakisFanis Katergiannakis (GK)
3
AranzabalAgustín Aranzabal (C)
1
KafesPantelis Kafes
Substitution83
4
Xabi AlonsoXabi Alonso
3
VenetidisStelios Venetidis
6
SchürrerGabriel Schürrer
5
KarembeuChristian Karembeu
7
JauregiIgor Jauregi
6
StoltidisIeroklis Stoltidis
8
KarpinValeri Karpin
8
GeorgiadisGiorgos Georgiadis
9
KovačevićDarko Kovačević
Goal80
10
GiovanniGiovanni
Substitution64
11
AranburuMikel Aranburu
Yellow Card7
11
P. DjordjevićPredrag Djordjević (C)
Yellow Card33
14
AitorLópez Aitor
14
MavrogenidisDimitrios Mavrogenidis
Substitution75
20
BarkeroJosé Barkero
Substitution61
19
KostoulasThanasis Kostoulas
21
De PaulaÓscar De Paula
Substitution61
32
AnatolakisGeorgios Anatolakis
Yellow Card16

Substitutes

1
AlbertoLópez Alberto (GK)
16
BucekJuraj Bucek (GK)
2
KvarmeBjørn Tore Kvarme
4
NiniadisAndreas Niniadis
15
Nihat KahveciNihat Kahveci
Substitution61
9
ChoutosLampros Choutos
Substitution64
17
GabilondoIgor Gabilondo
20
GoniasPanagiotis Gonias
Substitution83
18
AlkizaBittor Alkiza
23
TatsisAlexandros Tatsis
19
Lee Chun SooLee Chun Soo
Substitution61
25
VallasSpyros Vallas
22
PotillonLionel Potillon
30
PantosTasos Pantos
Substitution75

Coach

Raynald Denoueix (FRA) Plarent Kotherja (ALB)

Referee

Knud Erik Fisker (DEN)

Assistant referees

Bo Blankholm Pedersen (DEN), Bill René Hansen (DEN)

Fourth official

Nicolai Vollquartz (DEN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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