Olympiakos and Iraklis advance

The big cup tie on Wednesday left Olympiakos celebrating their historic 4-0 triumph over Panathinaikos, and the latter beginning anew their soul-searching. It was a dream night for Olympiakos, which took the lead after six minutes, with a fantastic 30-yard volley from Lomana LuaLua, and held it until the 63rd minute, when the Piraeus team scored twice in two minutes, through Vassilis Torosidis and Darko Kovacevic. Lionel Nunez put the icing on the cake 10 minutes from time, although Olympiakos could have scored even more goals with the chances it created in the last half hour. «We had the chances to finish the tie earlier, but at least Olympiakos was excellent in its marking,» said a happy Takis Lemonis, the Olympiakos manager. Meanwhile yesterday, a group of high-profile Panathinaikos fans and former athletes of the club issued a statement calling for the soccer club’s owners to accept the contributions of others, including from themselves, in any way possible, including its share capital and operation. Coordinated by Andreas Vgenopoulos, the chief executive of recently expanding Marfin Investment Group, the group calls itself the «Unifying Movement of Panathinaikos» and urges the soccer club’s owner, Yiannis Vardinoyiannis, to make club shares available also to others, while also using their support and know-how in various domains, as the ownership deems fit. In another cup tie played yesterday, Iraklis added its name to the hat for the quarterfinal draw thanks to a hard-fought 1-0 win at home over Panionios. The two teams played out a fairly balanced first half but it was the hosts who went ahead after 24 minutes when Javier Hernan Malagueno put the ball in the back of the net with his shoulder after a Fernando Marques free kick. Panionios piled on the pressure in the second half and even hit the crossbar after 68 minutes.