SPORTS

Greek splash in Europe

Just three days after Vouliagmeni’s triumph in the final of the Champions Cup in women’s water polo, two men’s teams scored crucial victories at home to get closer to European glory. In the first leg of the LEN Trophy final, held at Nea Smyrni last night, Panionios took an 8-6 lead over Hungary’s Szeged and is set to win the cup, provided it doesn’t lose by two goals or more in the return leg on April 22 in Hungary. Panionios fans created an impressive atmosphere at the Nea Smyrni pool and urged their team on to the win, which brings it nearer the club’s first European trophy in all sports. «We are a step from winning the cup,» said Panionios coach Costas Loudis right after the game. Also last night, Olympiakos scored a precious 8-5 win over Croatia’s Mladost Zagreb at the Papastratio swimming center in Piraeus and is the favorite to reach the Final Four in the Euroleague, Europe’s top club competition. In this first leg of the Euroleague quarterfinal, Mladost was the better team at the start, taking a 3-2 lead in the first half. However, Olympiakos regrouped, equalized and, from the score at 4-4, the hosts outclassed the visitors to take a three-goal lead in the end.