NEWS

Big wins for league leaders

League pacesetters Olympiakos and third-place AEK made second-half surges last night to thrash their respective opponents, Apollon Kalamaria and Larissa, with 5-0 scores. Olympiakos, led by Brazilian veteran star Rivaldo, who struck a hat trick, scored four goals in the second half. AEK scored three of its five goals in the last few minutes. For Olympiakos, the win came amid pressure due to last week’s loss to second-place archrival Panathinaikos, which narrowed the gap between them in the country’s premier soccer league to two points. Panathinaikos kept within striking distance with a valuable 1-0 away victory over midtable Cretan team Ergotelis courtesy of a long-range strike from Brazilian Ricardo Souza Bovio. Olympiakos leads the Super League with 24 points from 10 games, two ahead of Panathinaikos. AEK is third with 21 points. In yesterday’s other games, it was: Ionikos-Panionios, 1-1; Kerkyra-OFI, 1-0; and Xanthi-Atromitos, 1-0. On Saturday, it was Aegaleo-PAOK, 0-2; Iraklis-Aris, 0-0.