Olympiakos beats PAOK 2-0 thanks to its new signings

The opening day of the Greek League championship was a time for settling scores. Giorgos Georgiadis and Pantelis Kaffes both scored yesterday against their former team, PAOK, to lead seven-time champion Olympiakos to an important 2-0 away victory. Nearby, coach Eugen Gerrards of Iraklis saw his team give a 4-0 drubbing to OFI, a team Gerrards coached for a record 15 years but which he left in the worst possible circumstances at the end of the 2000-2001 season, with some hot heads calling him «a traitor» or worse. Georgiadis and Kaffes left PAOK this summer as the nearly insolvent team had to let go half of last season’s squad. Many of the players had grumbled about not getting paid last season. The Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki, PAOK’s home ground, was eerily silent yesterday because the stands were empty: PAOK has been penalized once again over the rowdy behavior of its fans. The silence made even more audible the screams of PAOK coach Angelos Anastassiadis at his players and the referees, costing him an ejection in the 61st minute. At that point, Olympiakos was already leading 1-0 with a Georgiadis header in the 18th minute. Olympiakos, despite fielding only one striker, Lambros Houtos, had most of the chances in the first half. In the second half, PAOK’s players attacked more vigorously and Olympiakos’s defense showed signs of crumbling. However, goalkeeper Fanis Kateryiannakis saved Olympiakos from tight corners: In the 64th minute he blocked a penalty kick. Kaffes scored Olympiakos’s second goal with a header in the 76th minute and PAOK did not threaten afterward. On Saturday, another PAOK transfer, Cypriot striker Yiannakis Okkas, gave his new team, AEK, an away win over Aegaleo by scoring the match’s only goal in the 19th minute. In other matches yesterday: Akratitos 1, Aris 0; Panathinaikos 1, Xanthi 0; Ionikos 3, Kallithea 2; Panionios 3, Paniliakos 2; Proodeftiki 1, Halkidona 1.