Olympiakos takes over at the top

Brazilian striker Rivaldo scored the lone goal Saturday to lift Olympiakos into first place in the Greek league after beating rival Panathinaikos 1-0 in the country’s biggest derby. The Piraeus club, on 23 points, now lies a point clear of previous leader AEK following its 1-1 away draw against PAOK yesterday. Defending champion Panathinaikos is third on 20 points. Olympiakos played before 33,000 supporters at the newly built Karaiskaki stadium. In an effort to avoid fan violence, Panathinaikos supporters were not allowed to attend the match. In the return match at Panathinaikos, Olympiakos supporters will be absent. Keeper Antonis Nikopolidis played his first match against Panathinaikos after a 15-year career at the Athens club. Olympiakos, which began enthusiastically, opened the score in the 30th minute through Rivaldo with a trademark curling free kick from outside the area. The goal energized Panathinaikos but Olympiakos rarely felt threatened. In Saturday’s other game, Iraklis beat Kerkyra 2-0. It was Iraklis’s fourth win, which moved the Thessaloniki club clear of the relegation zone. In other games yesterday, it was: Panionios-Xanthi, 0-0; Halkidona-OFI, 2-3; Aegaleo-Kallithea, 1-2; Ergotelis-Ionikos, 2-3; Apollon-Aris, 0-1. (AP)