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Greece round-up: Top two in charge

Published: Sunday 2 February 2003, 22.40CET
Panathinaikos FC maintained their slender advantage, but Olympiakos Piraeus FC remain just two points behind. features

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Published: Sunday 2 February 2003, 22.40CET

Greece round-up: Top two in charge

Panathinaikos FC maintained their slender advantage, but Olympiakos Piraeus FC remain just two points behind.

Leaders Panathinaikos FC maintained their slender advantage at the top of the Alpha Ethniki, but Olympiakos Piraeus FC also won and remain just two points behind after the weekend action.

Unbeaten run
Panathinaikos recorded their sixth consecutive win and stretched their unbeaten record to 14 games with a 2-0 win at Proodeftiki FC. However, they were forced to work hard for their victory, and it was not until the 72nd minute that in-form striker Nikos Lyberopoulos broke the deadlock, heading the opener from a Giourkas Seitaridis cross.

Scoring form
Two minutes later, Lyberopoulos scored his fourth goal in three games to seal the three points, doubling Panthinaikos's lead with a powerful shot from outside the penalty area.

Narrow win
Olympiakos secured a narrow home win, defeating OFI Crete FC 1-0 thanks to a 73rd-minute goal from Stylianos Giannakopoulos, as the midfield player headed a cross from Predrag Djordevic into the net. The game was played at the Nea Smirni stadium, since Olympiakos's own ground, the Gipedo Rizoupolis stadium, is undergoing renovation work.

Early winner
Third-placed FC PAOK Thessaloniki are a further three points adrift, but stayed in touch with the top two thanks to a 1-0 home win against Xanthi FC. An early goal from midfield player Giorgios Georgiadis in the ninth minute was enough to secure an important win.

Second-half strikes
AEK Athens FC also remained in contention with a 2-0 away win at PAS Giannina FC to ensure that the side from the capital go into next week's crucial game with local rivals Panathinaikos in good heart. AEK overcame severe injury problems and two goals in nine minutes midway through the second half from Vassilios Lakis and Themistoklis Nikolaidis sealed the win.

Panionios win
Panionios GS were also winners, defeating Aris Thessaloniki FC 1-0 thanks to a 20th-minute Ermin Siliak goal. Meanwhile, Iraklis FC were surprisingly held to a 1-1 draw at home by bottom side Panahaiki GC despite taking the lead through Ederson a minute past the hour. Both sides then had a man dismissed before the bottom side snatched a draw with a late equaliser from Artavaz Karamian.

Exciting draw
Elsewhere, Egaleo FC played out a goalless draw with relegation-threatened Ionikos FC, who had Seku Koné sent off, while Akratitos FC shared a 3-3 draw with fellow strugglers Kallithea GS. Kallithea took a 2-0 lead as Akratitos player Kostas Pozapalidis and Fouro Yenemi both scored own goals, but two quick goals from Nikos Iordanidis and Giorgos Barkoglou brought the home side level. Kallithea then moved 3-2 in front, only for Yenemi to make amends for his earlier error with a last-minute equaliser.

Last updated: 03/02/03 10.33CET



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