June 18, 2021

Super-sub Koka scores winner as Olympiacos edge past Marseille

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The Egypt international delivered an impressive performance in front of goal to help his side get off to a flying start in the top European tournament

Ahmed Mahgoub scored the only in Olympiacos’s 1-0 victory over Marseille in Wednesday’s Champions League Group C game.

The 27-year-old, also known as Koka, came off the bench to make a significant impact for Pedro Martins’ men at Karaiskakis Stadium.

Olympiacos handed a starting role to Morocco international Youssef El Arabi, who spearheaded the attack, while Senegal defender Ousseynou Ba paired Ruben Semedo at the heart of the defence.

Summer signing and French-born Senegalese Pape Gueye started for Marseille while Dario Benedetto, Florian Thauvin and Dimitri Payet formed a three-man attack.

The first half was cagey, as both sides struggled to open the scoring and wasted a number of chances before the break.

The best opportunity fell in the way of El Arabi who got to the end of a cross but failed to connect firmly as his effort was cleared by Marseille defenders.

The second-half saw more goal-mouth action and Olympiacos thought they had broken the deadlock in the 52nd minute when Giorgos Masouras found the back of the net but his effort was ruled out for offside.

In an effort to turn things around, both sides made a number of changes, with the Red and Whites introducing Konstantinos Fortounis for Lazar Randjelovic and Mahgoub replaced Masouras in the 84th minute while Senegal’s Pape Cisse was brought on for Mathieu Valbuena.

Six minutes after his introduction, the Egypt international scored the all-important winning goal after he was set up by Mathieu Valbuena.

The forward has now scored two goals in six appearances since he teamed up with the Super League champions in August from Sporting Braga.

Ba featured for the duration of the game while Gueye made way for Kevin Strootman with five minutes left to play.

Mahgoub will hope to continue his impressive form in front of goal when they take on FC Porto in their second Group C game on October 27.

The centre-forward has made 23 appearances for Egypt since his debut for the North African country against Uganda in 2013.

Mahgoub remains a key member of the Pharaohs and was part of the side that finished as runners-up in the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations