SPORTS

Panathinaikos climbs on top

Finnish striker Joonas Kolkka came off the bench to score the winning goal as Panathinaikos Athens beat arch-rival Olympiakos Piraeus 3-2 Sunday in a match marred by fan violence before the game. Supporters of both teams clashed around the capital and three people ended up in the hospital with knife wounds. One of them, Giorgos Koulis, 26, was stabbed in the side and was reportedly in serious condition. The other two were slightly wounded. Police said several fans were being questioned in connection with the incidents. The unintentional highlight of the derby was a pair of own goals by Panathinaikos’s two defenders, Denmark’s Rene Henriksen and Sotiris Kyrgiakos. Panathinaikos and Olympiakos now share the lead of the 16-team first division. Both clubs have 29 points but the Piraeus squad leads on goal difference. With two goals from Giorgos Georgiadis, including a penalty, PAOK beat Aegaleo 4-0 to remain in the race for the title. The win means the Thessaloniki squad keeps third place with 27 points. Dimitris Salpingidis and Cyprus striker Yiannakis Okkas netted the other two goals for PAOK. The match was played before empty seats, the last of a five-home game punishment imposed on PAOK for crowd trouble. In other games Sunday it was: AEK 6, Panachaiki 0; Ionikos 0, Aris 1; Xanthi 1, OFI 4 and Proodeftiki 0, Panionios 1. On Saturday, Kallithea beat Iraklis 1-0 and Ioannina defeated Akratitos also 1-0. In the major game of the 14th round, Olympiakos appeared disorganized in midfield mainly due to the absence of Christian Karembeu, out with a thigh injury. With 2,000 policemen on duty in and around the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium in central Athens, 13,000 spectators saw Olympiakos take the lead in the ninth minute through Henriksen’s own goal. In his effort to clear a free kick from Predrag Djordjevic, the defender headed the ball into his own net, taking keeper Antonis Nikopolidis by surprise. Forced to attack, Panathinaikos leveled with a header by Polish striker Emmanuel Olisadebe in the 17th. The hosts continued to attack but it was Olympiakos which took the lead with another own goal. A cross by Paraskevas Antzas in the 54th minute was deflected by Kyrgiakos’s knee to make the score 2-1. The equalizer came in the 71st minute from Angelos Basinas with a curling free kick into the top right-hand corner past keeper Fanis Kateryiannakis who had replaced injured Dimitris Eleftheropoulos in the 46th. Kolkka netted the winner with a shot from outside the area 11 minutes later. (AP)