NEWS

Soccer title is turning red again

Olympiakos needs 23 points from the remaining 11 games to be crowned champion of the soccer Super League once again, since the weekend’s results mean the Reds have stretched their lead to 11 points. Second-placed PAOK dropped two points at local rival Aris, while Panathinaikos lost again to Ergotelis, allowing Olympiakos to run off to the top of the table with its 2-1 home win over OFI on Saturday. Diogo opened the score for the champion after just six minutes and Olympiakos looked set to have an easy evening when it won a penalty 15 minutes later. Yet Diogo missed from the spot as keeper Arkadiusz Malarz saved the strike to give OFI some hope. This hope became more realistic in the 62nd minute when Aleksandar Simic lobbed the ball past the hosts’ goalie Antonis Nikopolidis to make it 1-1. It fell to Luciano Galletti to restore order for Olympiakos five minutes later, giving the league leader its 11th home win in as many games at the Karaiskaki Stadium. PAOK shared a goalless draw with Aris, having had to play for more than 45 minutes with a man down after the straight red card on Portuguese Sergio Conceicao; he returned one of the missiles Aris fans had hurled against him back into the crowd. The game was stopped for 15 minutes after more projectiles pelted PAOK keeper Costas Halkias. Panathinaikos suffered its second loss to Ergotelis this season, going down 1-0 in Crete to a Diego Romano goal in the 55th minute, three minutes after Ante Rukavina had left the Greens with 10 men. AEK, in fourth, seemed revitalized, dismissing Panionios 3-0 at home, courtesy of goals by Ismael Blanco, Edinho and Nacho Scocco. In the other games, Asteras Tripolis beat Levadiakos 2-0, Panserraikos scored a late equalizer at Larissa (1-1), Thrasyvoulos drew 1-1 with Xanthi and Panthrakikos downed visiting Iraklis 1-0. Olympiakos leads with 48 points, PAOK has 37, Panathinaikos 36, AEK 34, Larissa 27, Panionios, Aris and Panthrakikos 25, Xanthi 24, Ergotelis 23, Levadiakos and Iraklis 22, Asteras 20, OFI 14, Thrasyvoulos 13 and Panserraikos is at 12.