League-leading Panathinaikos was held to a 1-1 tie by AEK on Sunday, allowing Olympiakos to close the gap in the Greek first division soccer league standings with a 1-0 win over Panionios.
Dimitris Salpingidis tied it for Panathinaikos in the 27th minute after Nacho Scocco had given AEK the lead in the ninth.
The tie gives Panathinaikos 49 points but the team is now only six points ahead of rival Olympiakos and PAOK.
Scocco scored from a cross by Rafik Djebbour to give the visitors the lead, but Salpingidis tie it with a header from a free kick by Giorgos Karagounis.
Salpingidis almost gave his team the lead in the 39th, but his shot went wide with only goalkeeper Giannis Arabatzis to beat. He squandered another chance in the 62nd when his shot hit the post.
Olympiakos controlled play against Panionios from the start and took an early lead through Matt Derbyshire in the seventh.
The English striker exploited a mistake by Panionios’ defender Carlos Casteglione to score his first goal of the season.
Olympiakos was left with 10 men when Jesus Datolo was sent off in the 50th after a second yellow card, but Panionios could not capitalize.
Also on Sunday, it was: Levadiakos 1, Asteras 0; Panthrakikos 3, Ergotelis 2 and Xanthi 2, Aris 1.
On Saturday Atromitos had spoilt the PAOK party for 88 minutes at Toumba until a very late Thanasis Papazoglou goal gave the Macedonian giants the three points and its sixth consecutive victory.
Papazoglou’s strike had plenty of luck as it trickled over the line, sending Fenando Santos’ into second place.
Interestingly, it was PAOK’s seventh 1-0 win of the season.
Atromitos entered the match with a stout looking defence, preventing PAOK from making serious incursions. Atromitos frustrated the home side, which committed 21 fouls to just 14.
Giorgios Donis’ side created several opportunities, with Kostandinos Chalkias denying Atromitos’ Brito and Anastasakos, the latter of whom had two good strikes on goal.
PAOK had to wait until the 17th for its first genuine opportunity with Atromitos custodian Mihailidis making a fine save to deny PAOK.
But ultimately, Atromitos failed to hold out when Papazoglou benefited from Muslimovic’s ricochet shot from inside the box.
The 21-year-old came on as an 80th minute substitute for Nikos Arabatzis and left his mark on the game with just two minutes remaining, as he scored his first Super League goal.
Slovenian international Mirnes Sisic struck twice in the second half to give PAS Ioannina a valuable 2-0 win at home to Larissa while Iraklis also eased their relegation worries with a 1-0 win over Kavala, no doubt pleasing new coach Jozef Boubenko who has recently strengthened his squad.
Constantin Victoras Iacob got the only goal in the 17th minute.
Ioannina and Iraklis both move out of the bottom three while Larissa now join Panthrakikos and Levadiakos in the relegation zone.
Boubenko strengthened Iraklis with the acquisition of Carlinhos and Daigo Kobayashi.
Carlos Cesar Matheus, better known as Carlinhos has joined the Thessaloniki outfit until the end of next season. The Brazilian defensive midfielder joins the Kyanoleuki after spending his entire career in Brazil.
“I am very pleased to come to Greece and to play for Iraklis. I will give my all from the first minute to the last,” Carlinhos said of the transfer.
Meanwhile, Kobayashi was presented as an Iraklis player at a press conference on Tuesday. The Japanese midfielder has joined ‘Ira’ on a one and a half year deal via a free transfer from J-League side Omiya Ardija.
His stay in Greece will be his second in Europe after spending most of the 2009 calendar year with Norweigian side Stabaek IF.
Another Super League side with managerial changes is Panionios, whose club president Konstantinos Tsakiris is reportedly keen on making Nikos Kostenoglou the next coach of the club reports of a link have surfaced less than twenty-four hours after Emilio Ferrera was sacked.