No shock results in the Greek Cup despite struggles by major clubs

There were no surprise results in fourth-round Greek Cup action yesterday, with all major teams booking their places for the competition’s next stage, reserved for 16 teams. Super League front-runner Olympiakos, under pressure following last weekend’s defeat against archrival Panathinaikos, which narrowed its lead to two points, beat lower-league team Atsalenios 2-0, away. But the Piraeus club needed to wait for the second half for both its goals. Despite putting in a poor performance, Panathinaikos secured its spot for the cup’s fifth round with a 1-0 away win over another lower-league team, Thrasyvoulos. The winning goal was scored by defender Nasief Morris just before halftime. In other fourth-round Greek Cup games played yesterday, troubled Iraklis, a high flyer last season but currently last in the top domestic league, beat Olympiakos Volos 1-0, away, just days after the resignation of its coach, Savvas Koffidis. Esteban Herrera scored the game’s solitary goal in the 25th minute with a penalty kick. Xanthi, another previously dominant side in the top league that is now struggling at the lower end, defeated Asteras Tripoli 1-0. However, Takis Lemonis, the club’s recently appointed coach who took over from Yiannis Mantzourakis, one of the men rumored to be a possible successor to Koffidis at Iraklis, will have to deal with two injuries from this game. Argentinean midfielder Mariano Messera, who scored Xanthi’s winner from the penalty spot, hobbled off the ground shortly before the halftime break. Key defender Paraskevas Antzas was also injured later in the game. Larissa had little trouble disposing of lower-league team Panthrakikos with a 3-1 victory away. Round 4 action opened Tuesday with two games. PAOK, whose financial woes threaten to oust the major Thessaloniki club from the Greek Super League, managed to beat Panserraikos 1-0 for its place in the Greek Cup’s next round, despite a poor performance. Cretan team OFI beat Panaitolikos 2-1, away. The top league’s Kerkyra needed to came back twice for a 2-2 draw against lower-league club Pierikos before snatching its tie in a penalty shootout with a 4-3 score.

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