Xanthi dumps AEK out of Cup

AEK suffered a shock exit from the Greek Cup last night, crashing 2-0 at Xanthi, while Aris and Thrasyvoulos advanced to the quarterfinals. OFI will be forced to replay its tie with lowly Agrotikos Asteras. Xanthi beat its visitors through goals by Canadian Tomasz Radzinski in the 62nd minute and Stavros Lambriakos in the 87th. The loss is set to send shock waves through AEK, following their league loss to Asteras Tripolis on Sunday. It was always going to be tough for AEK yesterday without Rivaldo, Rodolfo Arruabarrena, Sokratis Papastathopoulos and Akis Zikos, but the team’s performance was not in keeping with its third place in the Super League standings. Second-division Agrotikos Asteras held OFI to a 1-1 draw in the fifth round of the Cup to set up a replay in Crete for a place in the competition’s quarterfinals. Despite not kicking a ball in an official game for two months due to the second- and third-division strike, the Thessaloniki club tried to upset its top-flight opponent at the intimidating ground of Evosmos and had several scoring chances in the first half only to be denied by OFI goalkeeper Alexis Tzorvas. In the second half, OFI manager Giorgos Paraschos made some changes to the team that boosted its game and took the lead in the 61st minute through Brazilian striker Leozinho. However the local team fought back and equalized with 11 minutes remaining courtesy of skipper Nikos Kyzeridis. The two teams will now meet again in Iraklion on January 23 or February 13. Aris had no problems in Katerini against local third-division side Ethnikos, easily winning 3-0. Coach Dusan Bajevic saw his players take the lead after 27 minutes with the team’s second goal chance, as Javito Periane turned in a cross from Giorgos Gougoulias. Ethnikos made some desperate efforts to get back on level terms but Aris added two more goals in the second half, both by Vladan Ivic. At Fyli, northwestern Athens, local second-division side Thrasyvoulos, who in the fourth round had ousted PAOK, was a class above visiting third-division PAS Preveza. Yet it took them almost an hour to open the score, via Argentine striker Juan Manuel Barrientos in the 59th minute. Four minutes later Yiannis Katsikis made it 2-0 and experienced Ilias Anastasakos added the third with 18 minutes to go. Today Apollon Kalamarias faces Larissa.