Favorites Olympiakos and PAOK have taken a clear lead after the first leg of the Round of 16 of the Greek Cup, but second-division rookie Aiginiakos beat Panionios and is threatening the Super League club with an upset.
Aiginiakos is a club from central Macedonia that is spending its first season in the Football League. It is based at the town of Aiginio, between Katerini and Thessaloniki, but since its home ground is still too small to entertain a Super League club such as Panionios, Wednesday’s first-leg match took place at neighboring Katerini.
That probably did not worry Aiginiakos players too much; after all several of them are former Pierikos players, the club based at Katerini, including the scorer of the 1-0 win over Panionios, Yiotis Yiazitzoglou. He scored from the penalty spot to gift his club its most historic victory to date, while Panionios missed its own penalty kick two minutes from time as Dimitris Kolovos was denied by Aiginiakos keeper Thanassis Tolios, another former Pierikos player. The return leg at Nea Smyrni on January 23 will therefore be very interesting.
On the contrary, the second leg between Olympiakos and Asteras at Tripoli will probably be academic, as the Reds triumphed 4-0 on Wednesday in Piraeus over their 10-man opponent thanks to goals by Chori Dominguez (penalty), Joel Campbell, Gaetan Bong and Michael Olaitan.
On Thursday PAOK defeated second-division Iraklis 1-0 in its first away over its once-mighty crosstown rival in 16 years. Stefanos Athanasiadis was on target for PAOK, in a game marred by hooligan action by Iraklis supporters.
A few hours earlier second division leader Olympiakos Volou had seen off Asteras Magoulas 2-0 at home thanks to second-half goals by Thanassis Dinopappas and Mario Gurma.