Challenging draws for Greek soccer teams

Panathinaikos, the country’s sole survivor in this season’s Champions League, Europe’s premier club level soccer competition, yesterday drew Spanish giants Real Madrid, the winner of the trophy in 2000, Portugal’s FC Porto, and surprise Czech qualifiers, Sparta Prague, for the lucrative competition’s second phase. A total of 16 teams have been divided into four groups of four. They will do battle for first and second places which would guarantee them quarter-final berths. Panathinaikos, which topped its group in the first round,. will begin its quest in Athens against Porto on November 21 and end it here against Real Madrid on March 19. Two other Greek clubs still doing battle in Europe, AEK and PAOK, both competing in the less prestigious UEFA Cup, found out yesterday who their next opponents will be for the competition’s third round. AEK will meet Bulgaria’s Litex Lovetch, while PAOK will play Dutch side PSV Eindhoven. Both teams will play their first matches at home on November 22.

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