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Ionikos preserve top-flight status

Published: Sunday 1 June 2003, 23.26CET
Ionikos FC retained their place in Greece's Alpha Ethniki after a play-off victory against Apollon Kalamarias.

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Published: Sunday 1 June 2003, 23.26CET

Ionikos preserve top-flight status

Ionikos FC retained their place in Greece's Alpha Ethniki after a play-off victory against Apollon Kalamarias.

Ionikos FC retained their place in Greece's Alpha Ethniki after a 2-1 victory against Apollon Kalamarias in Sunday's promotion/relegation play-off match.

Apollon chance
Ionikos finished 14th in the top flight with 24 points, while Apollon came third in the Beta Ethniki standings, giving the second division side the opportunity to replace Ionikos.

Spectacular header
However, Dani Rodriguez proved to be the man of the match for Ionikos, giving his side the lead in the 47th minute with a spectacular header. Ionikos defender Giorgos Daraklitsis was sent off for his second bookable offence on 73 minutes and Apollon equalised through Carlo Hartwig four minutes later.

Rodriguez the hero
Rodriguez then made himself a hero with the winning goal in the 78th minute. He broke clear of the Apollon defence and chipped a delightful lob over goalkeeper Alekos Rantos to ensure Ionikos will spend next season among Greece's finest.

Duo promoted
PAS Giannina FC and Panahaiki FC were both relegated from the Alpha Ethniki, while Paniliakos FC and Halkidona FC claimed the top two spots in the second division to gain automatic promotion to the top flight.

Last updated: 02/06/03 18.31CET

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