SPORTS

In Brief

Asteras pitted against Iraklis for Greek Cup The fifth round of soccer’s Greek Cup continues this week with four more knockout ties across the country. Today (at 4.45 p.m.) sees the match between Asteras Tripolis and Iraklis in the Peloponnese, while tomorrow Panserraikos will entertain Larissa at Serres and OFI hosts holder Olympiakos in Crete. Finally, on Thursday, AEK clashes with second-division Kerkyra at the Olympic Stadium in Athens. So far, only Panathinaikos and Xanthi have qualified for the quarterfinals, with two replays scheduled for January 28, between Panionios and Veria at Nea Smyrni, and Aris and PAOK in Thessaloniki. Olympiakos tops pool in European water polo Olympiakos’s water polo team scored its second win in three games in the Euroleague, Europe’s top club competition, to go to the top of its pool at the halfway point of the group stage. The Piraeus side scored a triumphant 9-7 win at Primorac Kotor in Montenegro last weekend. The win has taken the Greek champion to seven points from three games, one more than second-placed Primorac. If Olympiakos finishes first or second in its grouping, it will advance to the quarterfinals of the competition. Springboks rule In the resumption of the Greek rugby championship, the Attica Springboks dismissed Athens Spartans 42-5 away, Iraklis defeated crosstown rivals Makedones Evosmos 25-0 and Colossus Rhodes returned from Thessaloniki with a 53-15 victory over the Lions. Baghdatis wins Cypriot tennis star Marcos Baghdatis defeated France’s Julien Benneteau in straight sets in the first round of the Australian Open in Melbourne. Baghdatis won 6-3, 7-6, 6-2 in front of a partisan crowd for his successful return to Grand Slam tournaments. Konstantinou off Iraklis soccer club confirmed it has ended its contract with Cypriot striker Michalis Konstantinou. The former Panathinaikos and Olympiakos player has agreed to a deal with Cypriot league leader Omonia Nicosia, a deal that will earn Iraklis a reported 300,000 euros.