SPORTS

Still seeking win, AEK draws

Soccer club AEK suffered yet another night of Champions League frustration when it was held to a 1-1 draw by Belgian team Anderlecht in Group H on Tuesday night. The result at the Olympic Stadium means the team has yet to win a match in the group stage of the competition after 20 attempts in which they have drawn 11 and lost nine. It also leaves AEK at the bottom of the group with just a point, one behind Anderlecht and Lille, who drew 0-0 with AC Milan, and three behind the Italians who beat them 3-0 two weeks ago. «On the one hand, I’m very satisfied with our performance but, on the other hand, I am disappointed not to win,» said AEK coach Lorenzo Serra Ferrer. «We could have won but didn’t.» Anderlecht coach Frank Vercauteren held a similar view, saying: «I have divided feelings. I think we could have lost but we could also have won. Maybe it was a logical result.» «The group is very open. Lille showed you can take points off Milan. It’s difficult to say how this stage will end.» Anderlecht opened the scoring against the run of play after 25 minutes when Argentinean striker Nicolas Frutos poked home from close range. Three minutes later, AEK leveled through Brazilian Julio Cesar and, although they continued to create the better chances, the Greek side failed to add a second goal. Ferrer, already without injured midfielder Emerson, sprung a surprise by leaving his most experienced striker Nikos Lyberopoulos on the bench along with Vassilis Lakis and Martin Pautasso. Akis Zikos, a finalist with Monaco two years ago, was also missing from the team after straining his thigh in the warmup. There was little to applaud in the opening 25 minutes but the opening goal, a simple tap-in for Frutos after good work by Mbark Boussoufa down the left, served to increase the tempo. AEK immediately hit back when Finland under-21 midfielder Perparim Hetemaj, who played a fine game, found Julio Cesar on the edge of the Anderlecht area and the Brazilian coolly fired past goalkeeper Daniel Zitka.