SPORTS

Olympiakos keeps perfect domestic record

No doubt still weighed down by the shock of last Tuesday’s demoralizing 3-1 loss at home against Rosenborg in its opening Champions League game for the season, Olympiakos struggled to pull itself together for domestic competition on Saturday and beat host Kallithea by a misleading 3-0 score. The Piraeus club, which has won seven out of the past eight Greek title races and, subsequently, is now craving European club-level glory, maintained top spot in the Greek league with a perfect record after three rounds. All others sides of the 16-team competition have dropped points. Late last night, AEK salvaged a 1-1 draw at home against Aegaleo after the visitor opened the scoring midway through the second half. AEK’s striker Nikos Lymberopoulos equalized for the home side in the 77th minute. Both sides have registered a win and two draws from their three games. Also playing late yesterday, Panathinaikos, looking for its first victory this season, was held to a scoreless draw, away, against Levadiakos. Saturday’s win for Olympiakos was not as easily accomplished as the score indicates. Subdued for most of the game, Olympiakos did not open the scoring until the encounter’s 70th minute when Kallithea’s Hristo Telkiyski headed in an own goal from a Grigoris Georgatos cross. Earlier on, the home side could have opened the game’s scoring. But an effort by Christos Koutsospyros produced an impressive save from Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis. Up until the game’s opening goal, Olympiakos looked like a demoralized side still struggling with itself following its mid-week failure against Rosenborg. The Piraeus side created just one scoring opportunity in the first half and did not look dangerous until the encounter’s opening goal affected the game’s flow. Encouraged by this development, Olympiakos pushed harder up front and was rewarded in the 77th minute when captain Predrag Djordjevic fired in a diagonal long-range shot to give his side a 2-0 lead. Nery Castillo shot in a third in the 90th minute after being fed by Yaya Toure. Interestingly, Olympiakos broke an unhappy five-year tradition of dropping points in its third league match of the season following wins in the previous rounds. Kallithea, on the other hand, maintained an unwanted history of own-goal scoring at home against Olympiakos, now three seasons long. Also on Saturday, Akratitos and visiting Larissa played a scoreless draw. In other games yesterday, it was: Xanthi-Apollon Kalamaria, 2-0, Panionios-Ionikos, 3-3, and Atromitos-OFI, 4-0. Thessaloniki clubs Iraklis and PAOK, both looking for their first wins, complete the league’s third round of play tonight.