SPORTS

Ergotelis upsets Olympiakos

Olympiakos suffered a surprise 1-0 loss at Ergotelis last night, allowing Panathinaikos and PAOK to reduce the gap from the top by three points to 11, with seven rounds of games remaining until the end of soccer’s Super League. It was the first loss for Olympiakos after eight straight league wins, but its second defeat within four days, following the 3-1 home loss to Saint Etienne last Wednesday for the UEFA Cup. Playing with three major absences, Olympiakos went down to a Vassilis Koutsianikoulis first-half goal that gave Ergotelis another important win after its two triumphs over Panathinaikos this season. The Greens had a rather easy evening at home against Panionios on Saturday, winning 2-1 courtesy of second-half headers by Dimitris Salpingidis and Antonis Petropoulos, with Uruguayan Fabian Estoyanoff making one back for Panionios. However, the visitors complained about a goal wrongly disallowed as offside. On the same night, PAOK beat Thessaloniki rival Iraklis with a Pablo Contreras header in the second half, to stay level on points with Panathinaikos. AEK, in fourth, needed a header by central defender Daniel Majstorovic four minutes from time to beat Asteras at Tripolis. Larissa thought it had bagged all three points when Maciej Zurawski scored from the spot at the 78th minute, but Sergio Koke responded for Aris with another penalty to make it 1-1 in the battle for the fifth spot. A crucial 66th-minute goal by Ninoslav Milenkovic has given Panserraikos realistic hopes of avoiding relegation and has dragged Levadiakos into the dogfight. There were more red cards than goals, as the hosts’ Tassos Papazoglou was sent off just before the goal and Levadiakos was reduced to 10 men in the first half, after Patrick Dimbala’s dismissal. On Saturday, Xanthi and OFI shared a goal-less draw and yesterday Panthrakikos practically sealed Thrasyvoulos’s relegation with its 2-0 away win at Fyli, with a Sito Riera penalty and a Moktar Diallo strike. Olympiakos has 57 points from 23 games, Panathinaikos and PAOK follow with 46, AEK has 41 and Larissa completes the top five with 35 points. Aris has 32, Xanthi and Panionios have 29, Panthrakikos 28, Ergotelis 27, Iraklis 26, Asteras Tripolis 25 and Levadiakos 22, while the bottom three are Panserraikos (21), OFI (19) and Thrasyvoulos (13).