SPORTS

Safe passage for Olympiakos and AEK in Cup

safe-passage-for-olympiakos-and-aek-in-cup

Olympiakos and AEK have taken a clear lead on their way to the semifinals of the Greek Cup, while PAOK and Panathinaikos remain favorites despite drawing in the first leg of their games in midweek.

The Reds thrashed Asteras Tripolis 5-0 on Wednesday, with two goals each from Brown Ideye and Costas Fortounis plus one more from Felipe Pardo, reducing the second leg in Tripoli to a mere formality.

The result in Piraeus brought about the demotion of Asteras coach Staikos Vergetis to a lower post in the club.

Panathinaikos was scoreless for a third home game in a row to draw 0-0 with Atromitos at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium, in a game dominated by the fan protest against the partial closure of the stadium upon a decision by Deputy Sports Minister Stavros Kontonis for the events that led to the cancelation of the Panathinaikos vs Olympiakos league derby in November.

Also on Wednesday PAOK snatched a 1-1 draw from Panionios at Nea Smyrni and is looking good for a semifinal spot come the second match in Thessaloniki. Dimitris Pelkas opened the score for PAOK and Giorgos Masouras equalized for Panionios.

Interestingly, Dimitris Hatziisaias played the entire game at the center of the Panionios defense, but one day later he agreed a contract with PAOK and will be on the other side of the tie come the second leg in February.

On Thursday AEK thrashed visiting Iraklis 4-1 at the Olympic Stadium of Athens, despite playing for about an hour with 10 men. AEK scored through a Nikos Ziambaris own goal and then through Dimitris Kolovetsios, Vangelis Platellas and Christos Aravidis (from the penalty spot). Iraklis scored a consolation goal via Apostolos Vellios right at the end.