PAOK retains first place

PAOK beat Ionikos 3-0 yesterday to retain top spot of the Greek first division soccer league. Nikos Froussos, Cyprus striker Yiannakis Okkas and Yassemis Yiassemakis were PAOK’s scorers. PAOK’s win, its sixth of the season, put the club in sole possession of first place with 21 points from 10 games. Defending champion Olympiakos enjoyed its largest victory of the season, hammering Panachaiki 7-0 to move to second place with 20 points. Panathinaikos beat Iraklis 2-0 to move to third place with 19 points. Both goals were scored by Polish striker Emmanuel Olisadebe. Iraklis’s defeat means the club drops two places to fourth. AEK lost more ground in its race for the title after playing to a 1-1 draw against Proodeftiki. Goalkeeper Thanassis Kois salvaged a point by saving a penalty from AEK’s star striker Demis Nikolaidis. AEK is now eighth with 15 points. PAOK controlled play throughout the match against a disappointing Ionikos. Coach Angelos Anastassiadis rested three regular starters in view of PAOK’s third round, second-leg away game against Slavia Prague for the UEFA Cup on Thursday. PAOK beat the Czechs 1-0 in the first leg in Thessaloniki. Okkas gave PAOK the lead with a header in the fifth minute off a perfectly placed free-kick by Giorgos Georgiadis. Froussos made it 2-0 in the 55th and Yiassemakis closed the scoring in second-half injury time. Olympiakos had an easy task against last-place Panachaiki. Seven players scored a goal apiece. In other action yesterday it was: Ioannina 1, Xanthi 1; Panionios 0, OFI 0; and Aegaleo 0, Kallithea 0. On Saturday, Aris beat Akratitos 2-0. (AP)

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