SOCCER

Derby triumphs for Panathinaikos, Aris

Derby triumphs for Panathinaikos, Aris

Panathinaikos and Aris won the local derbies in Athens and Thessaloniki on Wednesday, showing they wanted victory more than their respective opponents, Olympiakos and PAOK, as they chase European spots.

Panathinaikos did the double against Olympiakos in the play-offs, beating the champion 2-1 in Piraeus to get within one win from clinching the ticket to Europe for next season.

The Greens won thanks to goals by Sebastian Palacios and Bart Schenkeveld, before Olympiakos pulled one back with Tiquinho. In four games between the two Eternal Rivals this season Panathinaikos has won twice and two matches were drawn.

In Thessaloniki PAOK suffered yet another defeat, this time to crosstown rival Aris. The Yellows won 1-0 thanks to a second-half strike by Aboubakar Kamara.

AEK remained level on points with Aris with its first play-off win, beating PAS Giannina 3-0 at home, goals coming from Ehsan Hajsafi, Nordin Amrabat and Grzegorz Krychowiak.

With two rounds of games left to play, Olympiakos is on 79 points, PAOK on 60, Panathinaikos has 58, AEK and Aris are on 56, and PAS stayed on 46.