UEFA Cup: Greece's Olympiakos reach last 16

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Ieroklis Stoltidis scored a second-half winner to lift Olympiakos into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup on Thursday as they beat Sochaux 1-0.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:50 IST
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Ieroklis Stoltidis scored a second-half winner to lift Olympiakos into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup on Thursday as they beat Sochaux one-nil at the Stade Auguste-Bonal in Sochaux, France. Leading one-nil from the first leg two weeks ago, the visiting Greek side made sure of a two-nil aggregate win when midfielder Stoltidis latched onto a cross and slammed the ball past Sochaux goalkeeper Teddy Richert after 66 minutes. France's Sochaux hosted Olympiakos of Greece on Thursday in a second leg tie from the first knock-out round of this season's UEFA Cup. Sochaux were trailing one-nil from the first leg against an Olympiakos side who narrowly failed to reach the knock-out stages of the Champions League group stage. Optimistic start Though the home side were missing Brazilian striker Araujo Ilan and Nigeria midfielder Wilson Oruma, they started brightly. But a penalty shout after just four minutes when Jaouad Zairi fell under the challenge of Predrag Djordjevic seemed somewhat optimistic. Ten minutes later Sochaux created an excellent chance when some intricate passing saw Tunisian striker Santos in on goal after a cross from Jaouad Zairi. But Santos scuffed his shot and Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis was able to gather the ball. Two minutes later, Zairi delivered another excellent cross for the unmarked Santos whose point-blank header brought out an excellent reaction save from Nikopolidis. Greeks rebound Having weathered the Sochaux storm, Olympiakos broke out of their shell towards the end of the half. On 40 minutes, Ieroklis Stoltidis strode forward unchallenged but his shot from distance went narrowly wide. And on the stroke of half-time, Grigoris Georgatos made some space on the left but his effort only disturbed the side-netting. Twelve minutes after the break, it was Sochaux's turn to threaten - a good run and cross from Mickael Isabey gave Santos another chance to put his name on the scoreboard but, again, his header was off-target. Nine minutes later, Santos was made to rue his hat-trick of missed chances as Olympiakos scored to put the tie beyond doubt. Georgatos put a dangerous ball in to the Sochaux goalmouth and it fell kindly to Stoltidis who lashed it home. Celebration time for the visiting Greek fans who saw their team win 1-0 on the night and 2-0 on aggregate for a place in the last 16. (AP)