Super League play-offs begin with two 1-1 draws

By George Georgakopoulos

The first round of the Super League play-offs changed nothing at the mini-table on Wednesday, as both matches between Atromitos and Panathinaikos, and between PAOK and Asteras Tripolis ended 1-1.

Tired from winning the Greek Cup final four days earlier, Panathinaikos surrendered its early lead at Atromitos so that the two teams shared the points at Peristeri.

Mehdi Abeid opened the score for the Greens from close range after 18 minutes and former Arsenal defender Stathis Tavlaridis equalized on the 56th.

Panathinaikos played with 10 men for the last 12 minutes of the game as Tasos Lagos got injured after all three substitutions were made.

PAOK also appeared affected by its 4-1 loss at the Cup final in the first half against Asteras at Toumba, but in the second half it recovered to go level and threaten several times with a winning goal.

Jeronimo Barrales capitalized on a Yiannis Skondras slip and slid the ball into the PAOK net for Asteras’s opener 12 minutes into the match. The equalizer for PAOK came on the 59th with a powerful shot by Miroslav Stoch from the right after some great footwork by Bibras Natkho. Still, PAOK fans jeered their own players at the end of the match.

The play-off table now reads as follows: PAOK, Atromitos and Panathinaikos have three points each, while Asteras has one. The winner of the mini-league goes to the Champions League qualifiers.

In the next round on Sunday Panathinaikos hosts PAOK and Asteras Tripolis greets Atromitos.