SPORTS

Controversy overshadows opening round

The first round of games in the 2012-13 Super League produced little excitement but plenty of controversy, thereby picking up from where it had left off at the end of the previous season. Olympiakos and Panathinaikos scored hard-fought wins on the road over the weekend, while the other two Greek representatives in Europe, PAOK and Atromitos, were more convincing in their victories.

Champions Olympiakos beat Veria 2-1 on Sunday thanks to goals by Rafik Djebbour and Francois Modesto, while the newly promoted Macedonian club had an opening goal incorrectly disallowed as offside.

Panathinaikos fielded a less-than-stellar side at Levadiakos, with coach Jesualdo Ferreira appearing to have the Champions League playoff return leg with Malaga in mind, but the Greens still managed to emerge victorious from their Livadia challenge with a 1-0 victory. Defender Loukas Vintra was on target for the Athens giants on Saturday.

Olympiakos and Panathinaikos became embroiled in a battle of statements on Sunday, accusing each other of influencing officials, which does not bode well at all ahead of the new season.

PAOK needed the beautiful second-half strike by in-form forward Stefanos Athanasiadis to beat new boys Panthrakikos 1-0 at home, while Atromitos scored twice through Chumbinho and Sokratis Fytanidis in the first half to beat hosts Kerkyra 2-0 on Sunday.

Once-great AEK lost 1-0 at home to Asteras Tripolis, as the inexperienced side the Athens team fielded was unable to make its teenage passion match the quality of the Peloponnesian club.

In other games, OFI and Xanthi drew 0-0 in a rather entertaining encounter on Crete, while the scoreless draw between PAS Giannina and promoted Platanias was something of a dull affair.

The first round will be completed on Monday evening when Panionios hosts Aris.