Giant killer pushes AEK off the top

AEK tumbled from top place to third in the Super League following a 2-1 defeat last night at newly promoted Asteras Tripolis, the season’s surprise performer following a rapid climb up the country’s soccer divisions in recent years. This victory, following impressive home wins against three other major Greek clubs, Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and PAOK, kept Asteras in fourth place with 28 points from 15 games, or at the midway mark. Defending champions Olympiakos made it to top spot after rebounding against Iraklis, away, for a 2-1 win. Serb striker Darko Kovacevic scored both goals for the visitors. Panathinaikos rose from third to second with a late penalty strike from Dimitris Salpiggidis for a 1-0 home win over Apollon Kalamaria. Olympiakos leads with 33 points, one ahead of Panathinaikos and AEK, now third because of an inferior head-to-head record against Panathinaikos. In the round’s other games, it was: Veria-Levadiakos, 3-1; Xanthi-Ergotelis, 1-0; Atromitos-Panionios, 0-2; OFI-Aris, 0-1; PAOK-Larissa, 1-0.