By Vassiliki Papantonopoulou
A sublime Rivaldo free-kick was enough to earn Olympiacos CFP a narrow win in a fiercely contested derby against Panathinaikos FC at the Georgios Karaiskakis stadium.
The Brazilian playmaker hit a masterful left-footed drive into the top right-hand corner on 30 minutes in a frenetic encounter in Athens. Panathinaikos controlled much of the match from that moment on and created a string of chances. Michalis Konstantinou and Ezequiel Gonzalez, who was later dismissed, both missed gilt-edged opportunities but even with the introduction of strikers Dimitris Papadopoulos and Emmanuel Olisadebe, the equaliser proved elusive.
AEK Athens could have moved top with a win against FC PAOK Thessaloniki, but had to settle for second a point behind the leaders after they were held to a 1-1 draw. AEK looked to be on course for victory after Simos Krassas had broken the deadlock with a header on 57 minutes, but PAOK equalised through Armand Feutchine with eleven minutes remaining and weathered a late storm to hold on to the point.
The other Greek side eliminated from the UEFA Cup last Thursday, Egaleo FC, also disappointed on their return to domestic competition as they suffered their first league defeat this season at home against Kallithea FC. Theofanis Gekas scored to make it 2-1 with seven minutes remaining after Ioannis Skopelitis had cancelled out Tassos Kyriakos' free-kick from the penalty spot.
Rare away win
Egaleo remain fourth, though a number of clubs are now bunched behind them. Xanthi FC are fifth after a goalless draw against Panionios NFC, while OFI Crete FC are a point behind after recording their first away win for a year in a 3-2 victory at Halkidona FC. The home side had two players sent off as OFI sealed a dramatic comeback with an 85th-minute goal from Tassos Triantafyllou.
Ionikos FC also won by the odd goal in five after getting off to a flying start with two goals in the first five minutes against Ergotelis, who now prop up the league after Aris Thessaloniki FC recorded their first league win of the season away against Apollon Kalamarias FC. Ioannis Lazanas scored the only goal of the game on 33 minutes after good work from Petros Passalis, who was later sent off. Iraklis FC also won 2-1 away against newly promoted Kerkira FC, who drop to second from bottom.
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