Atromitos defeated Dunajska Streda 2-1 away on Thursday and is the favorite for a ticket to the third qualifying round of the Europa League, while Aris shared a goalless draw with AEL Limassol at home.
The second leg a week later will be tricky for Aris in Cyprus, while Atromitos will only have its defense to mind in Peristeri.
Atromitos took the lead on the 20th minute with a spectacular right-foot volley by Javier Umbides. The hosts responded with Mate Vida’s equalizer but Atromitos swiftly regained the lead with a Giorgos Manoussos goal two minutes before the interval.
In the second half Atromitos was unlucky not to extend its advantage a minute from the end when Farley hit the crossbar and Umbides got the rebound only to pound the ball wide.
At the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium in Thessaloniki AEL snatched a 0-0 result after frustrating Aris throughout the 90 minutes of the encounter.
Aris had no response to the defensive game of the Cypriot team that has not yet conceded any goals in its friendly or competitive games to date this season.
The Thessaloniki team, in its return to European competition after eight years, saw its call for a handball inside the area rejected in the first half as the ball had apparently crossed the touchline seconds earlier.
In the last 20 minutes both teams struck the woodwork but the game remained scoreless, to the disappointment of the capacity crowd at the stadium.