Panthinaikos FC's lead at the top of the Alpha Ethniki was cut to a single point as they were held to a 0-0 draw at PAS Giannina FC.
Panathinaikos were eliminated from the UEFA Cup by FC Porto on Thursday, and were clearly still suffering the after-effects of having to play extra time as they produced a below-par performance.
Panathinaikos were twice fortunate not to fall behind, as goalkeeper Antonios Nikopolidis saved a 40th-minute Thomas Kyparissis penalty after Dusan Vidojevic had been brought down by René Henriksen. The away side largely controlled the second half, but could not find a way through and the hosts came closest to taking all three points when a Theofylaktos Nikolaidis shot hit the crossbar.
Olympiakos Piraeus FC took full advantage on Panthinaikos’s slip with a 1-0 win at home to Aris Thessaloniki FC. The only goal of the game came from the penalty spot in the 49th minute, with Predrag Djordjevic converting after Giorgos Koltsidas was adjudged to have handled. Aris lost defender Andreas Skentzos, who was dismissed in added time for a second yellow card.
AEK Athens FC also moved closer at the top with a 1-0 win at FC PAOK Thessaloniki. Former PAOK player Dimitrios Nalitzis scored the decisive goal in stoppage time, securing three points for his side with a powerful long-range shot from an angle.
Panionios GS extended their unbeaten run to five game as goals in either half from Arian Bela, who scored with a well-struck shot, and Alexandar Simoncic, on target with a 68th-minute header, secured a victory that kept the home side in fourth place.
First win of 2003
Proodeftiki FC recorded their first win of 2003 overcoming Iraklis FC 1-0. The only goal came through a long-range shot from midfield player Giannis Angelopoulos in the eighth minute which drifted over goalkeeper Kostas Halkias.
Egaleo FC and Xanthi FC played out a goalless draw with the only goalscoring chance of note coming from Egaleo defender Kostas Papoutsis whose shot hit the post on 34 minutes.
OFI Crete FC won 2-0 at bottom side Panahaiki GC. Tassos Dentsas opened the scoring on 38 minutes with a close-range shot and Alessandro Soares took advantage of some slack defending in the 74th minute to put the result beyond doubt.
Akratitos FC took an important step towards top-flight survival following a hard-fought 1-0 victory at home to fellow strugglers Ionikos FC. A headed goal from Apostolos Koutsokostas on 73 minutes was enough to secure maximum points.
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