Panathinaikos takes the lead

After a week’s break because of a Euro 2004 qualifier against Armenia, Greek soccer resumed Saturday with Panathinaikos taking the lead in the first division after a 3-1 win over Kallithea. In the third round’s major upset, lowly Proodeftiki downed defending champion Olympiakos 1-0. But the day’s action was marred by fan violence in Iraklis’s clash against AEK Athens in Thessaloniki. Three Iraklis fans were reportedly slightly injured. No arrests were reported by police. Panathinaikos’s win puts the team at the top of the standings, thanks to Olympiakos’s away loss and a 2-2 draw by AEK against Iraklis. Panathinaikos now has nine points, AEK seven and Olympiakos six. In the round’s other matches, played yesterday, it was: Paniliakos-Aris, 0-0; Halkidona-Xanthi, 2-0; Akratitos-PAOK, 1-2; and Panionios-OFI, 1-1. Aegaleo and Ionikos played later last night. Looking ahead to its Champions League game against Manchester United at Old Trafford tomorrow, Panathinaikos’s Israeli coach Yitzhak Shum left three of his regular starters on the bench. Panathinaikos went ahead with a close-range shot from Panayiotis Fyssas in the fourth minute. In the 40th, Dimitris Papadopoulos pounced on a loose ball and made it 2-0. Visitors Kallithea narrowed the gap with Anastassis Kyrgiakos in the 56th. Raimondas Zutautas ended Kallithea’s hopes with a third goal in injury time. Olympiakos controlled its match but could not penetrate a massive Proodeftiki defense. Proodeftiki’s keeper Luigi Cennamo was central to his team’s triumph. On the counterattack in the 88th minute, Proodeftiki’s Christos Dagounakis made a solo run down the left wing and crossed to Zaimi. His goal gave his team its first-ever win over Olympiakos. AEK took an early lead against Iraklis in the fourth with a shot from Grigoris Georgatos. The Athens club nearly made it 2-0 when a masterly shot from midfielder Vassilis Tsiartas went wide in the 40th. In the 76th, a blistering right-foot shot from the edge of the box by Polish striker Marcin Mieciel gave AEK keeper Dionysis Chiotis no chance and made it 1-1. Costas Katsouranis gave AEK the lead again in the 81st. Three minutes later, Iraklis’s Panayiotis Drougas secured the draw with a shot from outside the area. (AP)

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