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Greece : PAOK’s first ever double

PAOK completed the first double in its history, as in the Greek Cup final played behind closed doors at the Olympic Stadium of Athens it beat AEK 1-0 with a wonderful goal by Chuba Akpom.

The former Arsenal striker scored at the end of the first half to seal PAOK’s third consecutive Cup triumph and seventh overall, that completes the club’s best ever season. The match was quite entertaining for the 900 fans and the 3,000 police officers in the stadium for fear of hooligan clashes, such as those in the previous finals between the two teams, in 2017 in Volos and last year in Athens. This was the first match the Video Assistant Referee was consulted in Greece, but without needing to change any referee decisions.

Even though no more than 120 invitations were handed to each finalist, it appeared that many of the 600 invitations distributed by the Hellenic Football Federation had ended up in the hands of hardcore PAOK supporters. Seated at the VIP area of the Olympic Stadium they caused some trouble before the game, clashing with riot police.

Twenty minutes before kick-off the police demanded their departure from that stand so that they would go and sit where the invitations to PAOK fans were destined for. They did not move and the match started an d ended without any further problems. The run-up to the final was also marred by fan action, with AEK supporters on motorbikes clashing with police late on Friday and several bangers hurled at the hotel where the PAOK squad rested before the final in Athens.

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