Olympiakos back at the top

Stelios Yiannacopoulos scored twice as Olympiakos beat Aegaleo 3-0 at home yesterday to overtake AEK at the top of the first division soccer league. AEK and Olympiakos have fought each other for the top spot since the beginning of the season, in the closest title race in years. Olympiakos, winner of the last five league titles, pulled ahead after AEK’s 2-0 loss to crosstown Panathinaikos in the round’s major match. After 18 games, Olympiakos has 38 points. Panathinaikos and AEK share second place with 37 points each and PAOK of Thessaloniki follows in fourth place with 35. PAOK beat Ionikos 2-0 on Saturday. In other games yesterday, it was: OFI 2, Panachaiki 2; Iraklis 1, Xanthi 1; Ethnikos Asteras 2, Aris 2; Akratitos 1, Panionios 4. Olympiakos had an easy game against Aegaleo. Playing at Athens’s Olympic Stadium, used as its home ground, Olympiakos took the lead with Alexis Alexandris in the 24th off a pass from Predrag Djordjevic. In the 52nd, Aegaleo keeper Dimitris Kottaras stopped a shot by Brazilian striker Giovanni but lost control of the ball and Yiannacopoulos fired it in to make the score 2-0. He struck a second time in the 90th – for his ninth goal of the season – to seal Olympiakos’s victory. Panathinaikos was more aggressive in the first half when it scored both goals. Angelos Bassinas converted a penalty in the 11th to give his team the lead. Nine minutes later, a shot by Giorgos Karagounis hit Dionysis Chiotis’s left bar but the player gained the rebound to make the final 2-0. (AP)

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