PAOK takes the lead in playoffs

PAOK got the upper hand in the battle for a place in next season’s Champions League in soccer after its crucial 1-0 home win over Olympiakos last night. Bosnian striker Zlatan Muslimovic made the most of goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis’s poor clearance when the ball fell right into his path and he unleashed a fearsome shot that found the back of the Olympiakos net in the 11th minute at the Toumba Stadium. The hosts could have extended their lead had Adelino Vieirinha’s shot not hit the woodwork in the 53rd minute. PAOK leads the mini-table of the Super League playoffs with 10 points, with Olympiakos staying at seven. AEK moved up to five through its 4-2 win over Aris, which has three points. In its first playoff win, AEK managed to come back from a goal and a man down in the second half, as Aris was leading 2-1 via goals by Javier Campora (from the penalty spot) and Eddie Johnson in response to AEK’s opener by Rafik Djebbour. Despite playing with nine men against 10, AEK turned the score to 4-2 in just 10 minutes, with super-substitute Leonardo netting twice and Nacho Scocco adding one from the spot. Each side had two men sent off.

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