First setback for surprise team

Asteras Tripolis, the Super League’s newly promoted provincial team that has proven to be the league’s biggest surprise this season, suffered its first major setback last night, when it was eliminated in the fifth round of the Greek Cup following a 1-0 home defeat against Atromitos, currently midtable in the league. The visitors, down to 10 men from the 63rd minute of play, after Marcelo Oliveira was sent off for striking Asteras’s Lucio Filomeno, reached the cup’s quarterfinals with an injury-time goal from captain Giorgos Korakakis. In the fifth round’s other Cup game played yesterday, archrivals Olympiakos and visiting Panathinaikos were engaged in battle later last night. Iraklis hosts Panionios today in the round’s final game. Thrasyvoulos, Aris, Xanthi and Larissa have already advanced. OFI will host Agrotikos Asteras in a rematch following a 1-1 draw at Agrotikos. The game’s date has not yet been fixed. Meanwhile, Aris fans turned up in numbers at Thessaloniki’s airport yesterday to greet the club’s new signing, Brazilian striker Marcio Amoroso, who theoretically ranks as one of the team’s biggest ever acquisitions. «I am surprised by the reception,» remarked the 33-year-old player, whose career includes 19 appearances with the Brazilian national team, and tenures at a number of big clubs, including Udinese, Borussia Dortmund, AC Milan and Corinthians. However, doubts linger about the Brazilian’s fitness. His previous contract with Brazilian team Gremio was terminated after just six appearances due to a lack of form.