SPORTS

AEK makes the most of Panathinaikos's revenge over PAOK

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

An exciting twist of the last round of the play-offs saw AEK nick the top spot right at the end on Wednesday, as a depleted Panathinaikos avenged PAOK for the game controversially abandoned in Athens in mid-May and the elimination in the Cup a few weeks earlier.

AEK came from behind to beat Panionios 2-1 in Nea Smyrni and finish top of the mini-league with 12 points. It has got Greece’s second ticket to the Champions League, after champion Olympiakos.

PAOK finished second with 11 points, Panathinaikos third on eight and Panionios fourth with four points. All of them will contest the Europa League next season.

The Yellows had to better PAOK’s result and did so emphatically on Wednesday. Panionios led via Giorgos Masouras but AEK drew level via Petros Mantalos before half-time. After the two teams were left with 10 men, there were more spaces available and AEK scored the winner with Sergio Araujo.

At the same time PAOK was unable to beat a makeshift squad of Panathinaikos, going down 3-2 at home.

PAOK needed a win to make the Champions League qualifiers, it led twice courtesy of Diego Biseswar and Pedro Henrique, but the Greens showed their character and equalized twice, with Viktor Klonaridis and Robin Lod, before Guillermo Molins gave them an unlikely as well as memorable victory on the third minute of time added on.

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