SPORTS

Kerkyra, Levadiakos give leaders a hard time

Super League leaders PAOK and Olympiakos struggled to score 2-1 wins over inferior opponents this weekend, keeping the distance between them at four points, while third-placed Panathinaikos produced an emphatic display against Panthrakikos on Sunday.

PAOK had to sweat on Sunday before it could break the Kerkyra defense through Facundo Pereyra early in the second half, only for Kerkyra to equalize 20 minutes from time through Sebastian Nayar. PAOK’s winning goal came nine minutes from the end via an Ergys Kace shot.

Olympiakos had an even harder time beating Levadiakos away on Saturday. The hosts led from the second minute through Xavier Tomas and Olympiakos left it really late before its turned things around, with substitute Ibrahim Afellay being the hero: He scored the equalizer on the 73rd and crossed the ball to Costas Mitroglou in injury time, for the former Greece international to make it 2-1 from close range.

One point behind Olympiakos and five from the top is Panathinaikos. In a rare convincing performance, and keeping an even more rare clean sheet, Panathinaikos thrashed visiting Panthrakikos 4-0 through goals by Nikos Karelis, Mladen Petric, Zeca and Marcus Berg. Karelis’s goal was the fastest in the league this season, coming just 15 seconds into the match.

Notably, in the odds by Greek gaming company OPAP the original yield of 17-to-1 for a 4-0 score was slashed to just 9-to-1 a few minutes before kickoff.

Asteras Tripolis has left Veria behind, beating it 2-0 at home to stay alone in fourth, with Xanthi catching up with Veria on fifth after defeating struggling Ergotelis 2-0 on Crete.

The slump in the form of Kalloni Lesvou continues, as it conceded a goalless draw to Panetolikos at home. PAS Giannina has matched Kalloni’s tally of 20 points from 13 games thanks to its 1-0 win over Atromitos.

With manager Marinos Ouzounidis on its bench instead of sacked Dimitris Terezopoulos, Panionios saw off OFI Crete 2-0 at Nea Smyrni to climb out of the drop zone. Platanias also boosted its chances for survival with a 3-1 defeat of 10-man Niki Volou at Hania.

The next round of games will take place in midweek, on Wednesday and Thursday.