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Olympiacos capitalise as rivals falter

Published: Sunday 8 May 2005, 18.27CET
Olympiacos CFP closed to within a point of top spot after Panathinaikos FC and AEK Athens FC both slipped up. features

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Published: Sunday 8 May 2005, 18.27CET

Olympiacos capitalise as rivals falter

Olympiacos CFP closed to within a point of top spot after Panathinaikos FC and AEK Athens FC both slipped up.
By Vassiliki Papantonopoulou

With leaders Panathinaikos FC and AEK Athens FC both dropping points, Olympiacos CFP took full advantage to move into second-place and a point off the summit with victory at Kerkira FC.

Olympiacos close
Nery Alberto Castillo gave Dušan Bajevic's team a 25th minute lead, before Grigorios Georgatos doubled Olympiacos's advantage on 42 minutes with a spectacular long-range effort, though the bottom club gave themselves a lifeline with Ederson Fofonka's header two minutes later. However, the visitors sealed victory on 68 minutes through Ioannis Okkas' close-range strike.

Rivals falter
The win sees the side leapfrog AEK into the second UEFA Champions League place after a late Antonios Natsouras goal helped Ionikos FC inflict AEK’s second defeat of the season. Indeed, Olympiacos now lie just a point behind Panathinaikos after the reigning champions failed to win at PAOK FC. Dimitrios Papadopoulos had given Panathinaikos a 23rd minute lead but that was cancelled out by Dimitrios Salpingidis two minutes later.

Crunch clash
AEK are now two points off the pace with two games remaining and their hopes now rest on next week’s encounter with Panathinaikos behind closed doors at Apostolos Nikolaidis, due to the recent crowd disturbances.

Penalty decisive
Elsewhere, fifth-placed Xanthi FC - already confirmed as entrants in the UEFA Cup next year - were defeated 1-0 by OFI Crete FC thanks to a first-half penalty. Ioannis Papadimitriou was adjudged to have fouled Nikos Machlas in the area and Metodi Dejanov converted the resultant spot-kick to move his club three points clear of the relegation play-off spot.

Clayton triple
Apollon Kalamarias FC also moved away from that position with victory at Halkidona FC. The hosts twice led through Georgios Korakakis and a Georgios Zaharopoulos penalty only for Clayton to equalise on both occasions before completing a hat-trick with an outstanding solo effort, ten minutes from time.

Aris danger
That win moved Kalamarias out of the relegation play-off zone by two points at the expense of Aris Thessaloniki FC who were held to a point against Panionios NFC in Athens after Fernando Sanjurjo’s 39th-minute volley was cancelled out by Mario Breska’s own spectacular effort.

Ergotelis down
Meanwhile, Ergotelis FC will join Kerkira in the second division next season after goals from Anestis Agritis and Georgios Barkoglou for Egaleo FC condemned them to relegation, while elsewhere, Iraklis swept aside Kallithea 5-1.

Last updated: 09/05/05 0.43CET



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