SPORTS

Olympiakos extends lead with a 3-0 win over AEK

Brazilian midfielder Rivaldo struck twice yesterday as defending champion Olympiakos beat AEK Athens 3-0 to extend its lead at the top of the first division to nine points. It was the 13th win in a row for the Piraeus squad, which moved closer to its second straight title. Olympiakos has 54 points from 20 games, while AEK follows in second with 45, three ahead of crosstown rival Panathinaikos in third. With goals from Fanis Gekas in the 52nd minute and Dimitris Papadopoulos in the 90th, Panathinaikos beat struggling Kallithea 2-0. Olympiakos got off to a storming start and hit the lead after just six minutes when Cyprus striker Yiannis Okkas headed home a pinpoint cross by skipper Predrag Djordjevic. Djordjevic could have added another three minutes later when he linked up in the box with Rivaldo’s through ball but his shot went narrowly wide. Rivaldo then found Ivory Coast international Yaya Toure in the 25th and his thumping header was saved by Stefano Sorrentino. In the 31st, Toure’s fierce shot from 30 meters (yards) rattled AEK’s bar. Olympiakos remained in command in the second half and Rivaldo made it 2-0 in the 66th with a left-footed drive from the edge of the box. Olympiakos was left with 10 men in the 76th minute after Ieroklis Stoltidis was sent off the pitch for elbowing Vladan Ivic in the face. AEK had its best chance at a goal in the 87th when striker Nikos Lymberopoulos fired a shot into the post. Rivaldo made it 3-0 in injury time with a splendid flick past Sorrentino. Also on Sunday, it was: Xanthi 1, Atromitos 0; Ionikos 3, Akratitos 2 and Panionios 1, Levadiakos 1. In games played Saturday, it was: OFI 1, Aegaleo 0; Larissa 2, PAOK 1. Tonight’s clash between Apollon Kalamaria and Iraklis completes Round 20. (AP)