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Last Updated: Thursday, 29 November 2007, 21:52 GMT
Bolton 1-1 Aris Salonika
By Saj Chowdhury

Stelios celebrates after grabbing Bolton's equaliser
Stelios celebrates after grabbing Bolton's equaliser
A Stelios Giannakopoulos strike in stoppage time salvaged a point for Bolton in their Uefa Cup group game against Greek side Aris Salonika.

Antonio Calvo gave Aris the lead when he struck in a sweet low volley from 12 yards on the stroke of half-time.

But with seconds left of the match, Greek Stelios was on hand to poke in a cross from substitute Mikel Alonso.

Nacho forced Jussi Jaaskelainen to tip over from his 40-yard shot while Andy O'Brien headed against the Aris bar.

606: DEBATE

To say Bolton were lucky would be an understatement after barely causing Aris keeper Konstantinos Chalkias any problems during the match.

The Premier League side began well before Aris, fourth in the Greek Super League, settled into the match and took control.

Bolton huffed and puffed for manager Gary Megson and created a half decent chance on the half-hour mark.

Stelios, probably Bolton's man-of-the-match, played a great one-two with Alonso before clipping the ball to the far post where Kevin Davies was lurking.

However, the burly Davies failed to get a good connection with his head, under pressure from the Aris defence.

Alonso had been brought on after about 13 minutes, replacing midfielder Gavin McCann who came off with a head injury after a nasty clash.

Bolton would have rued not making the most of being given that glimpse on goal when Aris took the lead with a minute left of the half.

Calvo, a pest for the men in white, seized on a Abdoulaye Meite headed clearance to volley in low into the corner from 12 yards.

It was great technique from the lively forward who later limped off in the second half.

Bolton defender O'Brien then should have equalised seconds later but headed his effort from two yards rebounded off the crossbar after Davies had flicked the ball on.

Antonio Calvo
Calvo delivered a sweet strike

The second 45 saw Megson change from a 4-5-1 to a 4-4-2 with Stelios joining workhorse Davies in attack.

That change did not pay dividends for the first 20 minutes and Davies was replaced by star man Nicolas Anelka.

El-Hadji Diouf was also brought on and the Senegal international's free-kick from the left should have been headed in by Meite from six yards out - the defender leaping high above everybody but nodding wide of Chalkias' left-hand upright.

And Bolton were almost punished again for that miss when Nacho tried his luck from 40 yards only to see the backtracking Jaaskelainen palm over.

Aris looked comfortable with the balls of desperation flung in by Bolton until less than a minute from full-time when the defence missed Alonso's floated cross from the right and Stelios, as calm as you like, stretched to give Bolton a cherished equaliser.

Megson's men now travel to Red Star Belgrade needing victory to guarantee a spot in the next round of the Uefa Cup.


  • Bolton boss Gary Megson:
    "The overall performance was poor.

    "We did not get out of second gear. We started playing hit and hope balls but we kept going and got a really good point regardless of the way we played.

    "Our attacking play was one dimensional and the defending profligate and we gave them too many opportunities."


    Bolton: Jaaskelainen, Hunt, Andrew O'Brien, Meite, Cid, Giannakopoulos, Guthrie, Nolan, McCann (Alonso 13), Wilhelmsson (Diouf 65), Davies (Anelka 65).
    Subs Not Used: Al Habsi, Michalik, Samuel, Teymourian.

    Booked: Meite, Hunt, Giannakopoulos.

    Goals: Giannakopoulos 90.

    Aris Salonika: Chalkias, Neto Dolce, Papadopoulos, Ronaldo, Karabelas, Prittas, Garcia (Gogolos 83), Nebegleras, Toni (Javito 61), Koke (Kyriakos 87), Siston.
    Subs Not Used: Kelemen, Kouloucheris, Felipe, Marco Aurelio.

    Booked: Papadopoulos, Gogolos.

    Goals: Toni 44.

    Att: 10,229

    Ref: Eduardo Iturralde Gonzalez (Spain).



    SEE ALSO
    Uefa Cup as it happened
    29 Nov 07 |  Europe
    Thursday's football photos
    29 Nov 07 |  Europe


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