The finalist of the last two seasons, Atromitos, suffered a shock exit from the Greek Cup to a second-tier club, as did OFI Crete and Aris over the weekend.
Atromitos had got a 1-1 draw in the first leg at Volos from second-division Olympiakos Volou thanks to a late equalizer, and thought the second leg would be an easy task at Peristeri on Saturday.
Yet the 2-1 lead Atromitos had just before the end proved insufficient to seal qualification for the team coached by Dusan Bajevic, as Olympiakos Volou equalized (2-2) a minute from time to advance to the last 16 of the competition and bring about the resignation of Bajevic. The Bosnian Serb manager and the Atromitos president are set to meet on Monday to discuss whether their cooperation will continue.
OFI had beaten Apollon 1-0 in the first leg on Crete, but the second-division leader won 2-0 in extra time in Athens to clinch a spot in the fourth round.
PAOK advanced beating third-tier Aiginiakos for a second time, this time 2-1 at home on Saturday, and prepared to face cross-town rival Aris should the Yellows of Thessaloniki overturn their 3-1 loss to Kallithea on Sunday.
They didn’t, though. Kallithea, a second-division team, lost 2-1 at Thessaloniki but claimed the scalp of once-mighty Aris to set up a clash with PAOK for itself.
Xanthi very nearly suffered a similar shock to a lower-tier team, as Ethnikos Gazorou -- a club based near Serres in Macedonia that is spending its first ever season in the second division -- took the tie to extra time and then to penalties. Both legs ended 1-1, but Xanthi overcame its visitors’ resistance in the shootout which it won (5-4).
In other weekend ties for the third round of the cup, the Super League teams advanced as PAS Giannina dismissed Panserraikos 2-0 away, Asteras Tripolis thrashed Larissa 4-1 and Platanias saw off Anagennisi at Karditsa 1-0.
The draw for the fourth round, that will start in the second week of January, is as follows: Kallithea vs PAOK, Levadiakos vs Kerkyra, Olympiakos Piraeus vs Kavala, Panathinaikos vs Platanias, Veria vs Xanthi, Apollon vs Panthrakikos, PAS Giannina vs Fostiras and Olympiakos Volou vs Asteras Tripolis.