PAOK and AEK win to lead playoff table

By George Georgakopoulos

PAOK and AEK scored precious home wins over Panathinaikos and Atromitos respectively in the third round of the Super League playoffs on Thursday and are now first and second in the mini-table.

PAOK defeated visiting Panathinaikos 1-0 at Toumba courtesy of a first-half tap-in from close range by Dimitris Salpigidis in a balanced game that produced several chances for both teams.

However the five-goal game between AEK and Atromitos was far more entertaining, with the hosts winning 3-2 in the end.

Atromitos led after 20 minutes thanks to a Denis Epstein goal to go to the dressing room with a 1-0 advantage. However, AEK scored three goals in 12 minutes, between the 50th and the 62nd, as Jose Carlos equalized and Nikos Liberopoulos added a brace to make it 3-1. Wayne Thomas pulled one back for the Peristeri team in the 68th.

The results mean that PAOK now leads the table with seven points, AEK has six, Panathinaikos has dropped two places to third with five, and Atromitos has two.

On Sunday Panathinaikos will entertain PAOK and Atromitos will host AEK.