Panathinaikos wins comfortably

Panathinaikos overwhelmed Turkey’s Fenerbahce in last night’s third-round, second-leg UEFA Cup tie, with a 4-1 win for a 5-2 aggregate score following a 1-1 draw in Istanbul a fortnight ago. Striker Nikos Lymberopoulos set the tune in the 20th minute. Eleven minutes later, Yiannis Goumas added a second with a header. Fenerbahce’s Tuncay Sanli narrowed the gap in the 37th, but Panathinaikos consolidated its position two minutes before the break with a header from Yann Michaelsen. Veteran striker Krzysztof Warzycha added the fourth goal right before time. Security was strict to deter clashes that could hurt Greek-Turkish relations at a sensitive time. Both nations are evaluating UN proposals to end the 28-year division on Cyprus. Over 2,500 officers were deployed in and around the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium in downtown Athens for the game. Nearby roads were closed up to five hours before the game, prompting traffic chaos. The game was not a sell-out as Fenerbahce’s support was limited to a delegation of some 150 team representatives. Panathinaikos fans failed to fill the stadium. Many boycotted, protesting the minimum 80-euro price of a ticket. PAOK also advanced to the third round with a 3-2 aggregate score over Swiss side Grasshoppers.

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