SPORTS

PAOK draw at AEK sets stage for next week's league decider

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

Ten-man PAOK preserved its unbeaten record in the Super League snatching a 1-1 draw at AEK, so Olympiakos has reduced the distance from the top to six points ahead of the all-important clash with PAOK next Sunday in Thessaloniki.

This was only the second time the pacesetter has not won this season in the league, although it did grab an early lead at the Olympic Stadium on Sunday evening with a Mauricio header from close range.

PAOK was left with 10 men from the 32nd minute when Leo Jaba saw his second yellow card within a few minutes from the first, to change the face of the game and see PAOK stay in its own half to absorb the AEK pressure.

That pressure paid off an entire 42 minutes later, when Ezequiel Ponce met a Marco Livaja cross to head home the equalizer. AEK pushed on for a winner, but that did not come.

A few days after thrashing Larissa 4-0 at home, Olympiakos repeated the same score at the same stadium on Saturday, this time against Panionios. However the Reds had to wait until the 68th minute to open the score with Ahmed Hassan, before Miguel Angel Guerrero, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos and Jagos Vukovic added their names to the scoresheet.

PAOK is on 51 points, Olympiakos has 45 and AEK is on 37, four more than fourth-placed Atromitos that won 1-0 at Larissa through an injury-time goal by Giorgos Manousos.

Aris leapfrogged Panathinaikos into fifth with a hard-fought 1-0 win at home over PAS Giannina, as the Greens stumbled to a goalless draw at second-bottom Levadiakos.

Panetolikos and Asteras Tripolis scored 2-0 wins on the road at Lamia and Apollon Smyrnis respectively, while OFI and Xanthi ended up with a 0-0 result.

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