Stunned, but finally through

Reacting to what would have been a shocking result, OIympiakos rebounded from a goal down to beat the second division’s Haidairi 3-1 away and reach the Greek Cup’s quarterfinals on the first day of fifth-round action. In yesterday’s other game – which did produce a surprise – Iraklis was held to a 1-1 draw by second-division club PAS Ioannina. Iraklis, which started the season’s league competition poorly but has shown some improvement, must now travel to Ioannina for a repeat match scheduled for January 10. Iraklis midfielder Costas Diamantidis struck early with a seventh-minute opener. PAS Ioannina leveled in the 71st with a free kick from Giorgos Saitiotis. Olympiakos, the Greek Cup’s defending champion, was stunned by its host, currently fifth in the second division and pushing for a place in the big league, by an early goal in the fifth minute of play. Haidari striker Nikitas Tournas beat keeper Antonis Nikopolidis with a delicately headed lob after connecting with a long-range cross. Olympiakos leveled in the 36th minute when Haris Pappas drove the ball in after it had rebounded off the crossbar from a powerful strike by Yiannakis Okkas. The Piraeus club went ahead in the 66th with a header from forward Felix Borja. The visiting side completed its comeback three minutes before the final whistle with a long-range shot from Okkas. Away from the action, Olympiakos, still feeling the aftershock of failing, yet again, to progress beyond the Champions League’s group stage, launched its latest offensive in the transfer market by signing 21-year-old midfielder Vassilis Torosidis from Xanthi. The move was confirmed by both clubs yesterday afternoon. Local reports said Torosidis signed a five-year deal worth -300,000 per annum. Olympiakos paid -750,000 for the transfer and agreed to offer experienced defender Thanassis Kostoulas as part of the deal. The Greek Cup’s fifth round will be completed today and tomorrow. Three matches are scheduled for today. In a tie that brings together two second-division clubs, last-placed Niki Volos hosts second-placed Ilissiakos, Panionios greets Xanthi, and Panathinaikos takes on visiting Apollon Kalamaria.

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