Panathinaikos clinches soccer title

Panathinaikos beat Paniliakos 1-0 away Saturday to clinch the Greek first-division championship for the first time since 1996. Polish striker Emmanuel Olisadebe repeated his previous week’s performance against Proodeftiki, coming off the bench to score a late winner. The Athens club is also celebrating its first double since 1995 after a 3-1 win over Olympiakos in the Final Cup on May 8. Both Panathinaikos and Olympiakos gain a direct place in next season’s Champions League, while PAOK will play in the qualifying rounds. AEK is fourth, with 55 points after its 3-1 win over Kallithea, but its participation in the UEFA Cup has been blocked by the Greek soccer federation because of tax debts and unpaid players’ salaries. AEK is expected to appeal. Aegaleo finished fifth and gained a UEFA Cup berth for the first time in its 73-year history. Panionios defeated last-placed Proodeftiki 3-1 at home and will also enjoy UEFA Cup action next season. Proodeftiki and Paniliakos are relegated to second division. Akratitos will also go down if it loses a playoff against second-division side Ergotelis. In the second division, first-place Kerkyra, from Corfu, and second-place Apollon Kalamarias were promoted to the top league. Kerkyra will play in the first division for its first time ever and Apollon returns after a 10-year absence. (AP)

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