SOCCER

Reds strolled, Greens are robbed

reds-strolled-greens-are-robbed

Panathinaikos was denied victory at PAOK on Sunday due to an error the game’s referee admitted himself, but it still reduced its distance from AEK that went down at champion Olympiakos, as the Super League playoffs reached their halfway point.

At Toumba, PAOK and Panathinaikos shared a goalless draw that had a goal; Federico Macheda hit the net almost 10 minutes from the end for the visitors, but Finnish referee Mattias Gestranius blew his whistle for a foul call instead of waiving “play on” and counting the goal. Acknowledging his mistake he immediately uttered the words “my fault”, but it was too late to fix it.

The Super League has been inviting foreign referees to officiate the various derbies of the championship, but their quality has been deteriorating recently. Panathinaikos manager Laszlo Boloni complained after the match at Toumba that referees now come from anywhere, and wondered if a referee from Mongolia would also come next.

Even so the Greens have cut their distance from fourth-placed AEK to four points, as the Yellows went down 2-0 to Olympiakos due to a Bruma brace in the second half at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium.

Aris remained joined second with PAOK after its 1-1 draw at Asteras Tripolis. The Thessaloniki team led with Daniel Mancini but then conceded an own goal by Lindsay Rose.

Olympiakos has 82 points, Aris and PAOK are on 58, AEK stayed at 55, Panathinaikos moved up to 51 and Asteras to 45.

In the playouts, OFI scored a huge victory at Larissa (1-0) on Saturday with Dutch midfielder Jonathan de Guzman on the scoresheete. The Crete team moved away from the danger zone and left the hosts at the bottom, three points adrift from Panetolikos that also recorded a precious road triumph beating PAS Giannina 1-0.

Atromitos and Lamia ended up scoreless, while Apollon Smyrnis is hosting Volos on Monday.