By George Georgakopoulos
The first four games for the first leg of the round of 16 in the Greek Cup produced a major upset as second-tier Kallithea defeated mighty PAOK 2-0 at home on Thursday to become the favorite for a ticket to the quarterfinals of the competition.
Despite the strong showing of the team placed second in the Super League for most of the game and the presence of its fans at Kallithea, PAOK conceded two goals from the 79th to the 83rd minute, which renders its task in the return leg at home particularly difficult.
Kallithea had its goal frame to thank twice in the second half for keeping a clean sheet, before Vivian conceded a penalty and got sent off, with Alexandre D’Acol scoring from the spot.
As ten-man PAOK tried to equalize, Mattheos Maroukakis added insult to injury for the Thessaloniki club, scoring Kallithea’s second.
Panathinaikos will not have an easy task in the second leg at Platanias either. On Wednesday the Athens giant defeated its visitor 2-1 at the Olympic Stadium, but the away goal means that qualification to the last eight of the tournament is by no means certain for Panathinaikos.
In Fabri Gonzalez’s first game in charge of the Greens, and in front of virtually empty stands, Panathinaikos led 2-0 courtesy of goals by Pape Habib Sow and Toche, before conceding a penalty seven minutes from time that Thomas Nazlidis converted.
In other games PAS Giannina defeated third-division Fostiras – that has already claimed a Super League scalp in eliminating Panionios – with a 2-0 score at home on Thursday, while second-division Olympiakos Volou and Asteras Tripolis shared a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.
The other four first-leg ties will take place next week.