SPORTS

PAOK ends up second and Panionios gets relegated, unless…

paok-ends-up-second-and-panionios-gets-relegated-unless-amp-8230

The Greek league came to a close over the weekend, with PAOK sealing the second spot (provisionally), leaving AEK in third on Sunday, while at the bottom of the table Panionios was relegated as it could not better Xanthi’s result on Saturday.

Olympiakos celebrated its league crown with a 3-0 home win over AEK, goals coming from Mathieu Valbuena, Lazar Randjelovic and Mady Camara.

Hundreds of Olympiakos fans defied the coronavirus restrictions to gather outside the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium and celebrate, some of them hurling flares into the stadium.

PAOK finished second, four points ahead of AEK, after a goalless Thessaloniki derby with Aris at Toumba. PAOK captain Adelino Vieirinha ended the season with a straight red card in injury time.

The second place, that leads to the Champions League qualifiers, will now be confirmed by the decision of the Appeals Committee of the federation regarding PAOK’s punishment for its alleged common ownership with Xanthi.

Panathinaikos concluded the playoffs with a second win in a row, beating visiting OFI 3-2 in a game where all goals came within 14 minutes, from the 28th to the 42nd. Uffe Bech, Federico Macheda and Tasos Hatziyiovanis scored for the Greens, Vitor Figueiredo and Ricardo Vaz had equalized twice for the Cretans. Panathinaikos keeper Vassilis Xenopoulos preserved the Greens’ lead saving an injury-time penalty.

After his farewell game for Panathinaikos, coach Giorgos Donis quoted Winston Churchill in saying that “this is not the end, it’s not even the beginning of the end; it is the end of the beginning. See you later!”

The final table of the playoffs reads as follows: Olympiakos 91, PAOK 73, AEK 69, Panathinaikos 58, Aris 42 and OFI 36.

In the playouts Panionios finished last and is supposed to be relegated to the second division, after its goalless draw at Atromitos, while Xanthi also snatched a goalless draw at Larissa and is supposed to face the second division’s runner-up in a playoff. However the federation is likely to announce the restructuring of divisions that may see both Xanthi and Panionios stay up.

In Saturday’s other playout matches, Asteras Tripolis drew 1-1 with Lamia and Panetolikos defeated Volos 1-0.

Asteras Tripolis topped the playout table to finish seventh overall, with 43 points. Atromitos got 42, Larissa 36, Lamia 35, Volos 31, Panetolikos 29, Xanthi 24 and Panionios 23.

Next Sunday will see the Greek Cup final between AEK and Olympiakos.