NEWS

Olympiakos maintains lead

Defending champion Olympiakos maintained its eight-point lead at the top of the Super League with 10 rounds left to play, holding title challengers AEK to a 3-3 draw at the Olympic Stadium last night. Third-placed Panathinaikos effectively saw its title dreams end on Saturday, losing 2-1 to PAOK in Thessaloniki and falling nine points behind Olympiakos. In one of the most memorable derbies in the Greek capital, AEK took the lead after 29 minutes with an own goal by Greece goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis, after a Julio Cesar freekick. Predrag Djordjevic and Rivaldo scored for Olympiakos at the end of the first half to make it 1-2 at the interval. Another own goal, by Michalis Constantinou, again from a Julio Cesar free kick, pulled the sides back to level in the 47th minute. Olympiakos’s Julio Cesar restored his club’s lead from close range, but Leonidas Kabadais made it 3-3 with 20 minutes left. Olympiakos held on to the draw despite playing with 10 men for 35 minutes following the dismissal of Michal Zewlakow for a second bookable offense. Giorgos Georgiadis and Sotiris Balafas were on target for PAOK, while Dimitris Papadopoulos provided an equalizer from the spot for Panathinaikos. Aris stretched its winning streak to three games with a 1-0 home victory over Xanthi yesterday, while crosstown rival Iraklis succumbed to a late comeback by Atromitos for a 3-2 home defeat. At the Iraklion derby in Crete, Ergotelis scored its second win this season over OFI, this time with a 3-1 score, to escape from the relegation zone. Larissa and Kerkyra enjoyed easy 3-0 wins at home over all but relegated Ionikos and Aegaleo, respectively. Panionios defeated Apollon Kalamaria 3-1 in Athens.