AEK goes top of Greek first division

Christos Maladenis’s second-half goal gave AEK a 1-0 victory over OFI in Crete yesterday and the lead in Greece’s first division soccer league. Olympiakos, the leader until yesterday, stumbled at home, drawing 1-1 with Xanthi. They also lost Brazilian midfielder Ze Elias, who, in his return match after two months, was shown the red card 10 minutes into the game. With 14 points, Olympiakos trails AEK by a point. With two goals from Michalis Constantinou, Panathinaikos beat Aris 2-1 and moved to third place with 11 points. In other games yesterday it was: Akratitos 3, Panachaiki 1; Iraklis 0, Ethnikos Asteras 0; PAOK 3, Aegaleo 1; and Ionikos 1, Panionios 1. OFI charged forward from the start, nearly scoring in the 19th minute when a powerful shot from 35 meters by Ilias Kotsios hit keeper Dionyssis Chiotis’s crossbar. Ten minutes later, OFI’s Brazilian striker Soares broke through on the right flank and beat his marker but shot wide. In the 60th minute, Bulgarian midfielder Milen Petkov took a corner kick and Maladenis jumped higher than OFI defenders to head in the game’s goal. AEK’s goalie preserved his team’s victory in the closing minutes of the match with two spectacular saves to shots by Soares and Puerto Rican forward Ronald Gomez. Playing before 15,000 Athenians at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium, Panathinaikos controlled play throughout the match. In the 10th minute, Constantinou received a pass from Ghanaian striker Derek Boateng, and beat Aris’s offside trap to give Panathinaikos a 1-0 lead. Constantinou gained a penalty in the 30th, but goalkeeper Alexandros Delios saved Giorgos Karagounis’s penalty. Six minutes into the second half, Yugoslav striker Ilija Ivic leveled for the visitors. But Constantinou scored again six minutes later to clinch Panathinaikos’s third victory of the season. FIPRESCI also gave a special mention to Andreas Pantzis’s Word of Honor, a Greek, Cypriot and French production competing in the Greek film section for the range and depth of its thought, the humor of its symbolism and the handling of its epic structure. The FIPRESCI jury also stated that they were impressed by the variety and high level of the best films in this year’s Greek selection.

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