Last-gasp Mitroglou lifts Olympiakos
MONTPELLIER, France, Oct 24, 2012 (AFP) - A last-gasp goal from substitute Kostas Mitroglou kept Greek champions' Olympiakos Champions League hopes alive on Wednesday with a 2-1 win over hosts Montpellier.
The Greek side left it late after trailing a goal down when Gaetan Charbonnier, playing just a few months ago in Ligue 2, scored his first European goal for the French champions just after the break.
But Olympiakos captain Vasilis Torosides grabbed the equaliser after 73 minutes, and Mitroglou, 24, scored a minute into injury time to give the Greek side their first points of the campaign.
Olympiakos are third in the Group B table after three games, with Montpellier taking over the bottom spot with one point as Germany's Schalke lead with seven points, one point ahead of English giants Arsenal.
Montpellier coach Rene Girard, who followed the match from the stands due to a touchline ban, had surprised by opting for Laurent Pionnier in goal over Geoffroy Jourdren with Charbonnier up front.
But the Ligue 1 strugglers had been boosted by the return of captain Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, who was suspended from league action, and regained his spot in defence with Benjamin Stambouli stepping in for the suspended Garry Bocaly.
The hosts controlled early play but despite dominating went into the locker room at half-time with little to show for their efforts largely thanks to the efforts of Northern Ireland veteran Roy Carroll.
Younes Belhanda had the first effort at goal after eight minutes but his drive went wide of Carroll. It was then the turn of John Utaka whose 20th-minute effort was blocked, and three minutes before the break Carroll kept out a Charbonnier shot with his back to goal.
But back after the break the hosts piled on the pressure and the 23-year-old Charbonnier, playing in his first European match, volleyed past Carroll from the edge of the box four minutes into the half.
Olympiakos captain Torosidis grabbed the equaliser after 73 minutes. The 27-year-old Greek international held off Souleymane Camara before controlling the ball with his knee to fire home to level proceedings.
Belhanda missed the chance for Montpellier to pull ahead again a minute later.
But in a frantic finale two substitutes combined to grab the winner as Djamel Abdoun beat Henri Bedimo and fed Mitroglou, allowing the striker to slot the ball easily past Pionnier for a precious three points.