Atromitos rallies for win in Cup

A solid second-half was enough for Atromitos to rebound from a one-goal deficit and win 3-1 against visiting OFI in a first-leg Greek Cup quarterfinal game in Athens last night. OFI looked the more dangerous team in the cup tie’s first half and Atromitos did not look like it could break the visiting Cretan team’s defense. Not surprisingly, Stelios Sfakianakis opened the scoring for OFI in the 24th minute when he headed in a freekick from the left. But the game between the two Super League clubs, currently within two points of each other two-thirds of the way down the league standings, took a dramatic turn in the second half. Emanuel Perrone blasted past OFI goalkeeper Alexis Tzorvas in the 68th minute after playing a delightful one-two with Thanassis Tsingas. With 14 minutes left, Tsingas took on scoring duties himself by tapping in a precisely placed cross from the right by Roberto Merino to put the hosts ahead 2-1. Atromitos continued to apply pressure and was rewarded in the 83rd minute when Dimitris Geladaris preyed on a poor clearance from Tzorvas to extend his team’s lead to 3-1. The pair is due to meet for the return leg on March 19. The competition’s remaining first-leg quarterfinal, between second division team Thrasyvoulos and Larissa, is scheduled for next Wednesday. Meanwhile, the league’s disciplinary committee yesterday handed Olympiakos goalkeeper Antonis Nikopolidis a one-game ban for a scuffle with PAOK midfielder Sergio Conceicao in the tunnel right after last weekend’s 1-1 draw in Thessaloniki. Nikopolidis was also fined 80 euros, presumably to cover the hearing’s expenses. Conceicao’s hearing was rescheduled for next week after the Portuguese player’s flight to the capital from Thessaloniki was delayed.