Aegaleo upsets Panathinaikos with late goal

League leader Panathinaikos lost 1-0 at home yesterday to lowly Aegaleo in the biggest upset so far in the Greek Cup quarterfinals. Overconfidence, the lack of several starters – whom coach Sergio Markarian preferred to protect from getting a yellow card and becoming ineligible for Sunday’s League clash against AEK – and some missed chances conspired to let Aegaleo win. It was during a counterattack in the 84th minute that Yiannis Chloros received a perfectly timed pass and slotted the ball into Panathinaikos’s net. There is still the return game to play, but Panathinaikos certainly suffered an embarrassment. It was also the team’s first loss under Markarian. At least the league leader had some good news, as well. AEK goalkeeper Dionysis Chiotis cracked a few ribs in yesterday’s Cup game against Panionios and will not be starting in Sunday’s game. In Nea Smyrni, Panionios and AEK drew 1-1. The visitors went up 1-0 through Christos Maladenis, but Panionios snatched a draw in the 87th minute, thanks to a header by Vangelis Mantzios. The other two first legs for the Cup quarterfinals will take place later this month: On February 19, Aris plays Ethnikos Asteras, and, on February 26, PAOK hosts Olympiakos. Panathinaikos, aiming this season to break Olympiakos’s stranglehold on the League title – six straight championships – may lose two of its best players after the season. One, Giorgos Karagounis, is talking to Italian club Inter; the other, Nikos Lymberopoulos, is said to be disgruntled with his pay and is certain to raise his demands considerably when his contract expires over the summer. Lymberopoulos has lately been Panathinaikos’s best player and, if he continues playing well, will find no shortage of offers from above. Karagounis returned Tuesday from a one-day trip to Milan. Inter scouts will be in Athens to watch him play on Sunday.