SPORTS

No changes at the top end

Archrivals Olympiakos and Panathinaikos shared the honors in a lackluster 1-1 draw on Saturday, in the main game of the Greek First Division’s 11th round. The result means that Olympiakos stays at the top of the standings with 26 points, keeping its two-point lead over second-placed Panathinaikos. Media attention, in the runup to the long-awaited clash between Greece’s two biggest teams, had focused on possible fan violence. But the presence of more than 2,000 police officers ensured the match ended peacefully, both on and off the pitch. Saturday’s match was played at the 14,000-seat Rizoupoli stadium. In the only other league game played Saturday, AEK beat Proodeftiki, which is fighting relegation, by 3-0 to maintain fifth place with 21 points. In a Thessaloniki match played yesterday, PAOK held on to third place, a point behind Panathinaikos, with a 2-0 victory over Iraklis, down to nine men midway through the second half. Fourth-placed Aegaleo, the season’s surprise package, also moved to 23 points with a 2-1 win over Halkidona. In Round 11’s other games, played yesterday, it was Aris-Panionios, 2-1; Ionikos-Akratitos, 4-1; Kallithea-Paniliakos, 2-2; and OFI-Xanthi, 1-2. Olympiakos charged forward from the start and had a major scoring opportunity in the third minute when Serbian midfielder Predrag Djordjevic’s blistering left-foot drive hit the post. In the 19th, Panathinaikos’s Michalis Constantinou came face-to-face with Olympiakos keeper Fanis Kateryiannakis, but the Cypriot striker’s lob was easily saved. Constantinou gave Panathinaikos the lead in the 36th with a well-struck low shot off a pass from Dimitris Papadopoulos. Ieroklis Stoltidis leveled the score with an angled header off a cross from Giorgos Georgiadis in the 60th. Giovanni squandered the game’s most important scoring chance in the 81st when South African defender Nassief Morris slipped at the edge of the box. The Brazilian’s weak shot was easily saved by Nikopolidis. «Before the match, I’d have been satisfied with this result. But after my team’s performance today, I’m disappointed,» Panathinaikos’s Israeli coach Itzhak Shum told reporters. (AP, Kathimerini)