Asteras Tripolis stakes playoff claims

By George Georgakopoulos

Asteras Tripolis staked a claim for a top-five finish in the Super League this season, that would secure it European soccer for a second year in succession, after thrashing visiting Atromitos 3-0 on Monday evening.

In rainy conditions, the Peloponnesian side led 2-0 at half-time through goals by Sebastian Bartolini and Ximo Navarro, with the latter adding one more goal in the second half for Asteras's best showing yet this season, against a side that harbors similar ambitions.

The Tripoli side is fourth on the table, just three points behind second-placed PAOK, while Atromitos remained fifth.

Also on Monday Platanias Hanion sacked its coach, Yiannis Hatzinikolaou in the aftermath of the Cretan club's 4-0 defeat at Panionios on Saturday.