Panathinaikos opens with win

Panathinaikos, one of five Greek soccer clubs through to the UEFA Cup’s group stage, defeated Scottish visitors Aberdeen 3-0 in an opening Group B match last night for an early lead in its group. In Group H, Panionios drew 1-1 away against Swedish club Helsingborg after taking the lead. Later last night, AEK was hosted by Sweden’s Elfsborg in Group C and Larissa faced English club Everton at Goodison Park in a Group A game. Aris were not in action. The top three teams from eight five-team groups advance to the next stage. Late Wednesday night in the top-tier Champions League, 10-man Olympiakos gave hosts Real Madrid a real fright before succumbing 4-2. Olympiakos, which led 2-1 well into the game with a player less from the 13th minute of play, currently lies second in its group, three points behind Real with half its group games played. The top two advance to the next stage.