SPORTS

Easy win for Olympiakos, while Panathinaikos squanders lead

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

a scored twice for Olympiakos against Astana.

TAGS: Soccer

Olympiakos went joint top of its Europa League group after thrashing visiting Astana 4-1 on Thursday, while Panathinaikos wasted a two-goal lead at Standard Liege to draw 2-2 and PAOK lost 2-0 at Qarabag.

Two goals by Seba and one each from Diego Figueiras and Tarik Elyounoussi gave the Reds an easy win over the Kazakh team that had pulled one back via Junior Kabananga.

Just after Astana made it 3-1 it was reduced to 10 men, as Roger Canas received a second booking.

This was a confidence-boosting show by the Piraeus club ahead of the league derby with PAOK on Sunday.

Olympiakos has joined APOEL at the top of the pool with six points from three games, as the Cypriot champion went down 3-1 at Young Boys.

Panathinaikos’s game was an opportunity missed but a point earned. The Greens led 2-0 thanks to a Victor Ibarbo brace on the 12th and 36th minute, but for a second game in a row in the competition they had a penalty decision go against them.

Much as the Greens protested, Polish referee Daniel Stefanski insisted on the penalty he awarded to Standard at the end of the first half and even sent Panathinaikos manager Andrea Stramaccioni to the stands for protesting. Edmilson Junior converted the kick and Ishak Belfodil went on to equalize eight minutes from the end.

The Greens earned their first point in three games and remain at the bottom of their group.

PAOK had a poor performance in Azerbaijan, unlike all other away games it has played this season in Europe.

Qarabag saw the chance to upset its visitor and after a goalless first half it struck through Dani Quintana on the 56th and Rahid Amirguliyev three minutes from time.

The Azeris are now level on points with PAOK as they both have four. They will battle it out again at Toumba in two weeks' time.

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