SPORTS

PAOK claims Greece’s only victory in Europe, as AEK and Aris suffer defeat

PAOK was the only Greek soccer team to get a result in Europe this week, beating Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 at home, as Panathinaikos’s 2-0 loss to Copenhagen on Wednesday was followed by Europa League defeats for AEK and Aris on Thursday. Despite seeing influential winger Lino get injured while warming up, PAOK scored the Europa League game’s only goal through Vladan Ivic early in the second half and held on to victory, which has put it at the top of its pool with four points from two games. AEK traveled to Russia with a caretaker coach in Christoforos Kola and suffered a 4-2 defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. The hosts took the lead 40 seconds into the game with Tomas Hubocan and doubled it 12 minutes later with ex-AEK defender Bruno Alves. Nikos Liberopoulos reduced the arrears temporarily but a harsh penalty decision against Cristian Nasuti meant a red card for him and Zenit’s third goal via Danko Lazovic. He also made it 4-1 in the second half before Pantelis Kafes grabbed AEK’s second goal from the spot. Aris had a good first half but could only manage one goal, by Carlos Ruiz, which only served to cancel out Morten Moldskred’s opener, as both came in the last 10 minutes of the first half. Then Rosenborg upped its game in chilly Trondheim, in the north of Norway, and scored the winner on 68 minutes courtesy of a personal effort by Rade Prica. Greece call-ups Liberopoulos is returning to the national team just over a year after he put an end to his international career. His name is among the 20 invited yesterday by Greece manager Fernando Santos ahead of the upcoming two home games with Latvia and Israel on October 8 and 12 for the Euro 2012 qualifiers. The AEK player was drafted in to replace Fanis Gekas, who last month said he would quit the national team. The players invited are goalkeepers Alexandros Tzorvas and Michalis Sifakis, defenders Loukas Vyntra, Nikos Spyropoulos, Avraam Papadopoulos, Stelios Malezas, Vassilis Torosidis, Giorgos Tzavellas and Sokratis Papastathopoulos, midfielders Pantelis Kafes, Costas Katsouranis, Giorgos Karagounis, Sotiris Ninis, Alexandros Tziolis, Panagiotis Kone and Sakis Prittas, and forwards Costas Mitroglou, Dimitris Salpigidis, Giorgos Samaras and Liberopoulos.