Asteras saves Greeks’ pride in Europe

Asteras Tripolis was the only Greek side to score any points in Europe this week, beating Partizan Belgrade 2-0 at home on Thursday for the Europa League, as after the defeat of Olympiakos to Malmoe for the Champions League on Wednesday, PAOK and Panathinaikos also lost away from home, all of them with a 2-0 score.

In the first ever group stage game in a European competition held at Tripoli, Asteras scored a historic win that puts it at the top of its pool, ahead of its games against Tottenham.

Asteras captain Fernando Usero opened the score after 22 minutes beating Partizan keeper Milan Lukac at the second attempt inside the box. Then Facundo Parra made it 2-0 from close range on the 52nd, taking the game beyond the visitors.

Asteras has now reached four points from two games.

PAOK succumbed to French minnows Guingamp, being a shadow of the team that would score at will in previous games.

The Thessaloniki team appeared to have underestimated its host in France, lost the battle in the midfield, and showed a disastrous lapse of concentration at the start of the second half, letting in two goals in three minutes.

Sylvain Marveaux was the hero for Guingamp, scoring on the 47th and the 50th minute, while PAOK manager Angelos Anastasiadis stated that “we were unacceptable, and it is my fault.” PAOK has three points from two games.

Error-prone Panathinaikos fell behind Estoril eight minutes into the second half in Portugal, as Kleber powered the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box following a great solo effort from the right by Seba. This was substitute Kleber’s third effort on target in the few minutes since he came on at half-time.

Then Diogo Amado capitalized on the criminal negligence by the Greens’ defense to head the ball in for 2-0 on the 66th minute.

Panathinaikos remained without a point after two matches, showing how much it misses injured Marcus Berg, its top scorer last season.

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