SPORTS

Aris surprises Atletico Madrid

Aris soccer club has scored a significant win in the Europa League, as it beat cupholder Atletico Madrid 1-0 last night, while PAOK snatched a credible 1-1 draw at Club Brugge. Atletico was the favorite in the opening match of the Europa League group stage in Thessaloniki, but it had problems with the Greek midfield, which at times seemed impenetrable. Consequently Aris had a number of chances to threaten the Atletico net, one of which gave coach Hector Raul Cuper’s players the winning goal in the 59th minute. Javito got the ball outside the box, controlled it with his chest and unleashed a powerful shot that bounced in front of Spanish goalkeeper David De Gea before going into the net. Later on Javito came close to scoring a second goal but it was deflected by the woodwork. Atletico went to great effort to get something out of the game but Tiago and Diego Costa were denied by Aris goalkeeper Michalis Sifakis. In the group’s other game, Bayer Leverkusen thrashed visiting Rosenborg 4-0. In Belgium, PAOK was second best in the first half of the game as Club Brugge had most of the possession and the majority of chances, yet could not find the target. The hosts had to wait until the stroke of the hour as their counterattack allowed former Aris player Dorge Kouemaha to score. PAOK is protesting a foul on Victor Vitolo at the start of the attack. PAOK upped its game in order to respond, which they did at the 78th minute. A corner kick by Adelino Vieirinha found central defender Stelios Malezas, who headed the ball in for a precious goal for the Greeks. PAOK could have got all three points had Giorgos Fotakis not been denied by Brugge keeper Stijn Stijnen in injury time. In the same group, Dinamo Zagreb defeated Villarreal 2-0. Later last night AEK was hosting Croatian side Hajduk Split at the Olympic Stadium in Maroussi.