Olympiakos Piraeus FC remain within two points of in-form Hellenic National League leaders Panathinaikos FC after a thrilling 4-3 derby win against third-placed FC PAOK Thessaloniki - in which Pantelis Kafes scored a hat-trick, but ended on the losing side.
Moedim Ze Elias gave Olympiakos an early lead and Predrag Djordjevic, having set up the first, scored the second on 17 minutes. Before the half-hour mark, PAOK captian Kafes back-heeled into the net to reduce the half-time deficit. But five minutes after the interval, Giovanni Da Silva made it 3-1, and within 60 seconds, Lambros Choutos had scored Olympiakos's fourth.
Kafes completed his treble on 58 and 63 minutes, but PAOK could not level and only avoided falling further behind when Djordjevic had a penalty saved by Kyrgiakos Tohouroglou on 85 minutes - and not long afterwards Christian Karembeu of Olympiakos was sent off for striking at an opponent.
Panathiaikos made it nine wins out of nine with a 3-1 victory at Aris Thessaloniki FC. Nikos Lyberopoulos increased his recent goals tally to eight from six matches with a double, opening the scoring on five minutes and claiming a second just before half-time, which was extended for 20 minutes due to crowd trouble. He then set up Emmanuel Olisadebe for the leaders' third on 64 minutes, and Debah Niren's last-minute consolation could not prevent his side's first home defeat of the season.
A hat-trick from Vassilas Tsartas ensured a 3-1 win for AEK Athens FC at Kallithea GS. Goals on 17, 37 and 39 minutes - the first a free-kick and the latter two curling left-footed shots - gave AEK victory and Tsartas his treble. Giorgos Savidis scored Kallithea's consolation two minutes before the interval.
Campaign on course
Panionios FC's campaign for a European place remained on course with a 1-0 win against Egaleo FC. Ermin Siliak's winner 12 minutes from the end kept his side comfortably in the top five, while Iraklis FC remained in seventh after a 2-0 victory at Akratitos FC with first-half goals from Takis Gonias and Tasos Katsabis.
OFI keep up form
Elsewhere, OFI Crete FC secured a fifth win in seven game by beating Proodeftiki FC 2-0, while Xanthi FC and Ionikos FC drew 0-0 and bottom-paced Panahaiki FC lost 2-0 to fellow strugglers PAS Giannina FC.
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