SPORTS

One win and one loss in Europa League

By George Georgakopoulos

Greece had a hit and a miss in the first-leg games for the third qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday, as Atromitos scored a 2-1 win at Sarajevo while Asteras Tripolis lost 1-0 at Mainz.

Atromitos had its two central defenders to thank for its goals, the first one coming after 11 minutes by Sokratis Fytanidis and the second on the 75th by Vangelis Nastos.

In between Sarajevo had equalized through a lucky bounce from a shot by Bojan Puzigaca, another defender.

“It will be a failure if we do not qualify,” said Atromitos midfielder Elini Dimoutsos after the final whistle in the Bosnian capital.

Asteras was not as fortunate in its game at Mainz, as the Germans scored against the run of play in the last minute of the first half, via Shinji Okazaki.

The Greeks missed a number of good chances to score, including an attempt by Argentinean midfielder Pablo Mazza that hit the woodwork and a glorious opportunity that Pablo de Blasis wasted with the goal at his mercy.

However Asteras showed it is capable of seeing off the Germans at the return leg in Tripoli.

Both second leg matches are scheduled for Thursday, August 7.

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