Fired-up clubs play 0-0 draw

A highly anticipated Greek soccer league encounter between front-runner Olympiakos and sixth-placed host Xanthi yesterday failed to produce major action and ended in a scoreless draw. The pre-match heat was prompted by the return of ex-Olympiakos player and coach Takis Lemonis to the Piraeus club, just weeks after he had assumed the coaching post at Xanthi. Yesterday’s game marked Lemonis’s second-tenure coaching debut for Olympiakos against his previous club. It was also the first game for Xanthi coach Savvas Koffidis. Panathinaikos struck in a late winner to beat Aegaleo 1-0 and catch up with second-placed AEK, a 2-0 loser on Saturday to PAOK in Thessaloniki. Olympiakos leads with 40 points from 16 games a round into the second half of the season. AEK and Panathinaikos follow on 34 points apiece. In yesterday’s other games, it was: Apollon Kalamaria, Kerkyra 1-0; Ionikos, Ergotelis 1-3; Panionios, Iraklis 2-1; Aris, Larissa 1-1. In another game played Saturday, host OFI beat Atromitos 4-1.