SPORTS

AEK coach hopes to end the string of draws against Genk

With four draws from four rounds of play in the Champions League’s toughly contested Group C, and still with realistic prospects of a berth in the competition’s second phase, AEK will be pushing for victory in Athens tonight against Belgium’s Genk. Currently placed third, and one point behind second-placed Roma, AEK would bolster its chances of snatching the group’s runner-up spot from its Italian rival, and a qualifying berth, with a win tonight. Defending champion Real Madrid, a favorite for the European title, is first, three points ahead of Roma, and Genk, last, with two points. «We’re going to chase victory in a game that requires tremendous care,» AEK’s coach, Dusan Bajevic, said yesterday. «We’re playing at home and will have the support of fans. We know that even with a draw we stand a chance of qualifying, but we want victory,» he added. Bajevic said no changes would be made to the team that held Real Madrid to a 2-2 draw in Spain last week. Commenting on AEK’s Belgian opponent, Bajevic warned that Genk was a good team capable of inflicting damage. «They played well against Roma and had plenty of chances against a mighty opponent,» Bajevic said, referring to last week’s scoreless draw in Rome. In tonight’s other Group C game, Real Madrid faces Roma in Madrid. A victory for the Spaniards would benefit AEK, which travels to Rome on November 12 for what is building up into a do-or-die encounter for both AEK and Roma. Only a home defeat by AEK, coupled with a Roma win, would render the match irrelevant.