Athens - Colombian striker Felipe Pardo
came off the bench to score twice as Olympiakos Piraeus came from a goal down
to defeat 10-man Dinamo Zagreb 2-1 on Wednesday and take a huge step towards
qualifying for the knockout stages.
An upset had looked on the cards when Armin
Hodzic put Dinamo ahead with a powerful first-half header while Olympiakos
struggled to respond, with Kostas Fortounis missing a penalty just after
But the introduction of substitute Pardo in
place of Hernani just after the hour mark proved a masterstroke by Olympiakos
boss Marco Silva.
The stocky striker scored with his first
touch of the ball a minute after coming on to level the scores.
After Dinamo's Josip Ivaric was dismissed
for collecting a second yellow card in the 79th minute, Pardo latched on to
Fortounis' superb lobbed pass to drill home the winner which sparked jubilant
celebrations among the home fans.
It was the first time Olympiakos have won
three matches in succession in the competition, leaving them in the second
qualifying spot in Group F behind leaders Bayern Munich with both on nine
points. Dinamo and Arsenal each have three points.