Europa League victories

Aris and Olympiakos scored 2-1 victories in their first-leg matches for the third qualifying round of soccer’s Europa League late on Thursday. Thessaloniki club Aris beat Polish side Jagiellonia Bialystok away thanks to a brace by Toni Calvo in the first 10 minutes of the game and, barring a major upset, it will be in the draw for the next round on August 6. Olympiakos came from behind with a one-man advantage to beat Maccabi Tel Aviv at home in a game played behind closed doors due to fan violence last season. Jaouad Zairi and Dennis Rommedahl scored in the second half for the Reds, who will make the return match trip to Israel next Thursday. Maccabi was reduced to 10 men in the 60th minute. Champions League challenger Panathinaikos yesterday completed the transfer of French central defender Jean-Alain Boumsong. The former Lyon player signed a three-year contract with the Greens. Also yesterday, Super League side Xanthi announced the acquisition of former Dutch international midfielder George Boateng. The Ghana-born player has had a 12-year career in England, playing at Coventry, Aston Villa, Middlesbrough and Hull.

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