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Greece round-up: Title on the line

Published: Sunday 4 May 2003, 19.14CET
Panathinaikos FC hold a three-point lead and travel to second-placed Olympiakos Piraeus FC next week. features

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Published: Sunday 4 May 2003, 19.14CET

Greece round-up: Title on the line

Panathinaikos FC hold a three-point lead and travel to second-placed Olympiakos Piraeus FC next week.

Panathinaikos FC maintained their three-point lead at the top of the Alpha Ethniki thanks to a resounding 5-1 victory at home to OFI Crete FC.

All to play for
The victory ensured Panathinaikos stayed ahead of Olympiakos Piraeus FC and, with two matches to go, the destination of the title is likely to hinge on the winner of next Sunday's game between the top two.

Resounding win
Panathinaikos took the lead against OFI with a 14th-minute free-kick from Goran Vlaovic, and it was 2-0 three minutes later as Nikos Lyberpoulos converted from close range. Lyberpoulos made it 3-0 from the penalty spot three minutes after half-time, and completed his hat-trick four minutes past the hour. Pantelis Konstantinidis scored a fifth for the home side, before OFI scored a last-minute consolation through Kostas Dermitzakis.

Under pressure
Olympiakos kept up the pressure on the leaders with a 3-0 away win at bottom side PAS Giannina FC. In a match played at a neutral venue of Patras due to the ban imposed on Giannina for crowd trouble at the home match with Panathinaikos, two goals in the first 20 minutes from Predrag Djordjevic put the away side in command, and a third from Christian Karembeu 16 minutes from time completed the win.  

Comfortable for AEK
Third-placed AEK Athens FC also enjoyed a comfortable win at home to Aris Thessaloniki FC. First-half goals from Kostas Katsouranis and two from Vassilis Lakis all but ensured victory, and the away side's slender hopes disappeared after 64 minutes as Nasif Moris was shown the red card for a foul on Christos Maladenis, before Ilija Ivic scored AEK's fourth 13 minutes from time.

Significant win
FC PAOK Thessaloniki were 3-0 winners against Panionios GS in a match played in Kozani due to a stadium ban imposed on PAOK after crowd trouble. Giasemakis Giasemi gave PAOK the lead after 35 minutes, and as Panionios pushed forward in the closing stages, Giorgos Georgiadis scored twice in the last three minutes to seal a win that moved PAOK above their opponents on goal difference and into a UEFA Cup place.

European bid
Iraklis FC maintained their own European challenge with a 4-2 away win at Ionikos FC, with Pantelis Kapetanos scoring twice and Ieroklis Stoltidis and Vladan Milojevic once each. Meanwhile, Xanthi FC were 3-0 winners at home to Kallithea GS, thanks to two goals from Guenther Friesenbichler and one by Nikos Kehagias.

Important three points
Elsewhere, Egaleo FC were 3-1 winners at home to struggling Akratitos FC, and a Giannis Providas penalty proved enough for Proodeftiki FC, 1-0 winners at home to already-relegated Panahaiki GC.

Last updated: 04/05/03 23.15CET