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Game abandoned as Panathinaikos fan hits PAOK coach with beer can

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

A beer can thrown at PAOK manager Vladan Ivic has also thrown the Super League play-offs into turmoil, as the Panathinaikos fan who struck the Serb coach on his head will see his team pay dearly and PAOK win a game it might have lost before it got abandoned at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium on Wednesday. Events at this game overshadowed the victory of Panionios at AEK earlier in the evening.

Panathinaikos was 1-0 up early the second half, courtesy of a Marcus Berg goal from the 9th minute, despite being forced to play with 10 men from the 20th minute when its keeper Odysseas Vlachodimos got a straight red card.

A few minutes after PAOK was also reduced to 10 men due to a second yellow card to Amr Warda, a clumsy challenge on substitute Panathinaikos keeper Luke Steele started a brawl among the two sets of players. At that point a beer can hurled from Gate 10 (not where the hardcore fans sit) struck Ivic on the side of his head. He fell to the ground, and was taken to a nearby hospital for a check.

Doctors found that he had only suffered a superficial bruise, but Ivic then said he was feeling dizzy, so the referee decided to abandon the game, which will be awarded to PAOK with a 3-0 score.

If Panathinaikos is indeed found guilty for the game’s sad end, it will also be deducted three points from the play-offs and a further two points from the next season. In that case PAOK will have five points in the play-off mini-table, Panionios will be on four, AEK on three and Panathinaikos on minus one.

Panionios has leapt to four points after upsetting AEK though a Samed Yesil goal seven minutes into their game at the Olympic Stadium of Athens.

AEK tried hard to equalize and even hit the woodwork just before the end, but it simply was not its night against a determined Panionios that knows well how to defend a lead.

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