SPORTS

Olympiakos pulls further ahead at the top of the table

Olympiakos lunged further ahead in the soccer Super League yesterday after scoring a 2-0 home win over lowly Panthrakikos and seeing the pack chasing it drop points. The Reds had to wait over an hour to crack the Komotini club’s defense at Karaiskaki Stadium. Jose Roca, the Panthrakikos goalkeeper, was injured in the 53rd minute and replaced by Spyros Vrontaras. The Greek understudy to the Spaniard, who was the man of the match when on the field, rose to the occasion and parried Luciano Galletti’s penalty in the 65th minute. However, the Argentine midfielder for Olympiakos got his own back, scoring with a powerful volley after a corner kick followed the penalty. Better still for Galletti, he doubled his tally seven minutes later, after Panthrakikos was left with 10 men due to the dismissal of Nikos Zapropoulos. The big match over the weekend, the clash between PAOK and Panathinaikos, was one of the four goal-less games of the round. Both teams missed chances and protested over penalties that each thought they should have earned. Panathinaikos coach Henk ten Cate wondered what needed to be done for his team to get the penalty decisions it deserves. AEK drew with Larissa 1-1 at the Olympic Stadium. The hosts led in the 82nd minute with an Ismael Blanco penalty but a Marcelo Sarmiento shot was deflected by Maciej Zurawski into the net in injury time. The star of Uruguay, legend Alvaro Recoba, began to shine at Panionios. Upon his debut, the former Inter Milan player set up both goals for his club, which came from behind to beat Aris 2-1 at home. Thrasy-voulos scored its first ever win in top-flight play, defeating OFI 1-3 in Crete, thanks to a Josef Kozlej hat trick. In other games, it was Levadiakos 0, Xanthi 0; Iraklis 0, Ergotelis 0, and Panserraikos 0, Asteras 0. Olympiakos leads the standings with 16 points from six games. It is followed by PAOK with 12, and Xanthi and Larissa each with 11. Panathinaikos has 10 from five games. AEK and Ergotelis each have nine with the latter having a game in hand. Levadiakos and Panionios have eight, Panserraikos follows with seven, Aris and Asteras Tripolis both have six, Panthrakikos remained at four and Thrasyvoulos, Iraklis and OFI are in the drop zone with three points apiece.