PAOK had to overcome some big obstacles to reach the final.They qualified against OFI on away goals rule and eliminated league champions Olympiacos with two wins in the quarter-finals and cup holders AEK with 2-1 on aggregate in the semi-finals.
On the contrary,Aris had an easier path on their route to the final.They eliminated PAS Giannina with two wins,Ethnikos Asteras with 3-2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals and qualified against Egaleo on away goals rule in the semi-finals.
The final was held at Toumba Stadium,Thessaloniki on 17 May 2003.PAOK defeated Aris 1-0 with a goal scored by Georgiadis who made an impressive individual effort,driblling past a defender with his right foot,faking a shot with his left (outsmarting another defender and the goalkeeper in the process) and finishing with a swift side-foot kick (using his left again) that launched the ball up and into the back of the net.The assist was provided by Markos.Aris had a great chance to equalize late at the game but the ball hit the post on Morris' effort.
During the postgame press conference,Aris' manager Giorgos Foiros made a complaint that the final should have been a two-legged tie because PAOK had the advantage of playing on home ground.Kaftanzoglio Stadium,a neutral ground and Thessaloniki 's largest stadium was under renovation for the 2004 Summer Olympic games.The Hellenic Football Federation's regulation for that season's cup stated that if the final was to be held at Thessaloniki (that would be the case if at least one of the two finalists was a Thessaloniki 's team),it would be hosted at the second largest stadium of the city which was Toumba.About a week before the game,Aris demanded from the federation either the final to be played at Kalamaria or Makedonikos stadiums,both neutral grounds (with much smaller capacity though) or to be held a draw between Toumba Stadium and Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium (Aris' home ground), but both requests were denied due to the tournament's regulation.
PAOK's manager Angelos Anastasiadis became the first in club's history to win the cup both as a player (in 1974) and manager.