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Greece round-up: Panathinaikos maintain narrow lead

Published: Sunday 26 January 2003, 21.41CET
Panathinaikos FC and Olympiakos Piraeus FC continued to set the Alpha Ethniki pace with wins on Sunday. features

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Published: Sunday 26 January 2003, 21.41CET

Greece round-up: Panathinaikos maintain narrow lead

Panathinaikos FC and Olympiakos Piraeus FC continued to set the Alpha Ethniki pace with wins on Sunday.

Panathinaikos FC maintained their two-point lead at the head of the Alpha Ethniki with a 1-0 win against FC PAOK Thessaloniki.

Individual strike
The only goal of the local derby arrived in the 52nd minute through a fine individual effort from Nikos Lyberopoulos, who capped a skilful dribble with a close-range finish. Despite the narrow margin of victory, Panathinaikos were always in control of the game and were rarely threatened by the visitors, who stay in third position despite the defeat.

Olympiakos stay in touch
Second-placed Olympiakos Piraeus FC kept in touch with the leaders with a resounding 4-1 victory at Kallithea GS, a win that gives the champions a realistic chance of retaining their title. Olympiakos were always in control, with Stylianos Giannakopoulos getting a hat-trick.

Giannakopoulos treble
The midfield player scored from close range in the 29th and 49th minutes, before completing his hat-trick with a 55th-minute header. Lampros Choutos added a fourth goal two minutes later, before Kallithea substitute Elton Koca scored a consolation goal two minutes from time.

Important win
AEK Athens FC secured a 3-2 home win against Egaleo FC, a result that keeps the capital side’s slender hopes of mounting a championship challenge alive. However, AEK had to come from behind twice, as Egaleo took the lead with a shot from Avraam Simeonidis in the very first minute, before an exquisite long-range lob from Anastasios Agritis restored their advantage after Dimitrios Nalitzis had equalised for AEK in the tenth minute.

Three for Nalitzis
Nalitzis scored his second equaliser from the penalty spot five minutes before half-time after Mihalis Kasapis had been brought down by Kostas Papoutsis, before the same player got the winning goal and completed his hat-trick, heading a Grigorios Georgatos centre into the net. AEK’s talismanic striker Themistoklis Nikolaidis made his return to the team as a substitute following a much-publicised dispute with former owner Chrisostomos 'Makis' Psomiadis, who stepped down on Friday.

Panahaiki secure draw
Elsewhere, Aris Thessaloniki FC took the lead against Panahaiki GC through a Richard Knopper header after 13 minutes, but the league’s bottom side recovered and equalised two minutes from time when Dimitris Ioannou scored with a powerful long-range shot.

Panionios climbing
Panionios GS moved above Aris thanks to a 2-1 win at Ionikos FC, and took the lead with a Vaghelis Mantzios header in the first minute, although Herivelto Da Silva equalised only three minutes later. Anastasios Ferekidis restored Panionios’ advantage after 20 minutes and the away side held on despite the 31st-minute dismissal of Mantzios for a second bookable offence.

Success for strugglers
Iraklis FC slipped to a 3-1 defeat at OFI Crete FC, whose goals game from Pavlos Adamos, Mauricio Solis and Metodi Dejanov. Meanwhile, second-bottom Akratitos FC secured an important win with a 2-1 triumph at Xanthi FC, while fellow strugglers PAS Giannina FC also enjoyed a rare success, winning 2-1 at home against Proodeftiki FC.

Last updated: 27/01/03 9.39CET