Atromitos beats PAOK, PAS downs Asteras

The start of the Super League playoffs for Greece’s second spot in next season’s Champions League has complicated things, as the teams that started as underdogs beat the favorites at home on Wednesday, setting up an appetizing mini-league.

Atromitos defeated leader PAOK 2-1 and PAS Giannina downed Asteras Tripolis by the same score in two quite entertaining encounters after a three-week recess in the league following the end of the regular season.

PAOK led at Peristeri on the hour mark thanks to a goal by Dimitris Salpigidis that seemed to be from an offside position, but Atromitos equalized through Matias Iglesias in the 77th and snatched all three points via a Chumbinho freekick in the 90th minute.

PAS Giannina took advantage of Asteras’s spent energy in the Greek Cup final four days earlier to win through goals by Stavros Tsoukalas and Brana Ilic in the 8th and 67th minutes respectively. Asteras had equalized with a spectacular shot by Papa Khalifa Sankare in the 14th.

PAOK entered the playoffs with four points, Asteras with two and Atromitos and PAS Giannina with no points. The revised standings now see PAOK still on four, Atromitos and PAS have three and Asteras is on two points.

The next round of games is on Sunday, with PAOK hosting PAS Giannina and Asteras entertaining Atromitos.