Panathinaikos FC collected their eighth consecutive win to defeat Ionikos FC 1-0 at the weekend and stay two points ahead of city rivals Olympiakos Piraeus FC at the top of the Hellenic National League.
Now unbeaten in 16, Nikos Lyberopoulos scored the decisive goal early in the second half – his sixth in the past five games – nodding in a precise cross from Michalis Konstantinou.
Olympiakos, however, stayed in close contention with a crushing 5-2 defeat of Akratitos FC. Giovanni da Silva scored a hat-trick, opening his account by levelling after the home team went into the lead through Christos Iliopoulos.
The Brazilian had to wait until the 73rd minute to extend the advantage, but collected his third moments later. Peter Ofori Quaye and Alekos Alexandris rounded off proceedings.
Third-placed FC PAOK Thessaloniki ensured they kept in touch with the leaders by beating OFI Crete FC 2-0, scoring at the outset and the death courtesy of Giorgos Koutsis and Sladjan Spasic, whose goal marked a return from injury after three months out.
AEK Athens leapfrogged Panionios FC into fourth on the back of a 3-2 defeat of Xanthi FC. Ilija Ivic slammed in an injury-time winner after goals from team-mates Vassilis Lakis and Christos Maladenis. Guenther Friesenbichler and Franck Rabarivony were on target for the losers.
Panionios FC went down 3-1 to Iraklis FC, who took the lead through Marcin Mieczel. Alain Rangouel and Stelios Hasiotis combined majestically for the equaliser, the latter thundering in. Edwin Muratti broke the deadlock in the 79th minute and ten minutes later Ederson Fofonka’s clinical finish sewed up all three points.
In the weekend’s other games, Aris Thessaloniki FC overcame PAS Giannina FC by a single goal, Proodeftiki FC fought out a 1-1 draw with Kallithea GS and Egaleo FC dispatched last-placed Panahaiki 4-0.
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