SPORTS

Soccer giants struggle in the Super League

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

Apostolos Vellios scored a spectacular goal for Atromitos at Lamia.

TAGS: Soccer

Greek soccer’s giants have made a wobbly start in the new Super League 1 championship, while teams such as Xanthi and promoted Volos have stolen the show so far.

Double winner PAOK and Champions League challenger Olympiakos may have doubled up their wins on Sunday, but did so with unexpected difficulty, while Xanthi and Volos have also made it two out of two. Meanwhile, big names such as Panathinaikos, AEK and Aris have been suffering.

Bottom team Panionios, that has started the league on minus six points due to financial irregularities last season, troubled PAOK at Toumba, but the Thessaloniki team eventually won 2-1 through a late Karol Swiderski goal. Former Arsenal striker Chuba Akpom had given PAOK the lead before Sotiris Tsiloulis equalized for Panionios.

Olympiakos also had a hard time beating Larissa 1-0 away, having Mathieu Valbuena to thank for his early penalty kick.

Panathinaikos and Aris are on one point from two games after following up their draws in Round 1 of the league with defeats on Saturday. The Greens suffered a 3-1 shock loss at home to OFI, while Aris went down 1-0 at Volos: the league’s new boys are now on six points from two games, along with Xanthi that saw off Panetolikos 2-1 away.

At Tripoli AEK got its first win of the season beating Asteras Tripolis 3-2 away. AEK’s Nelson Oliveira canceled out Luis Fernandez’s opener in the first half, and Asteras’s Jeronimo Barrales leveled again the score after Marko Livaja’s strike. Simoes scored in injury time to give AEK and its caretaking coach Nikos Costenoglou all three points.

Ex-Everton Apostolos Vellios scored a stunning goal to give Atromitos a point in the 2-2 draw at Lamia on Sunday, as he scored with a sideways bicycle kick from just one meter inside the box.

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