AEK have taken a step towards the Greek Cup Final with a 3-1 win over Panserraikos after the first leg of the semi final in Athens.
Olympiakos fought from two goals down against Xanthi to draw 2-2, the result meaning that both sides will have all to play for in the second leg.
AEK 3 – Panserraikos 1
AEK’s 3-1 at the Olympic Stadium saw all four goals coming in the first half, amid stormy conditions that saw just 6,000 fans brave in the stands.
Rafik Djebbour gave AEK the lead at the 20th minute with a right-foot volley from outside the box after Ismael Blanco headed the ball to the Algerian’s path.
Panserraikos, who in the previous round eliminated Panathinaikos, went back on level terms through a direct free-kick by defender Marco Aurelio four minutes later.
Another defender, Daniel Majstorovic made it 2-1 for AEK at the 38th minute with a header from close range after a Blanco cross from the right.
Djebbour scored his second at the 40th minute getting the rebound from keeper Fotis Kipouros’s stop to a Nikos Georgeas shot from five yards.
Meanwhile, AEK coach Dusan Bajevic has apologised for criticising striker Ismael Blanco’s reaction to being substituted by making reference to his father, who the Serb did not know has died.
Blanco reacted angrily to be being brought off in the 3-1 win over Panserraikos in the Greek Cup on Wednesday night. The Argentinean kicked a water bottle as he trundled off the pitch.
This prompted and equally irate response from his manager in the post-match press conference.
“He should leave this kind of behaviour at home,” said Bajevic. “The same goes for anyone.
“You can go home and behave like this with your mother or father or anyone else,” added the AEK coach.
Bajevic was later informed that Blanco’s father has died and the Serb issued an immediate apology.
“I apologise because I did not know that Blanco’s father has died. It was the wrong thing to say and the message I wanted to get across was completely different, in other words that nobody can behave like this.”
Asteras Tripolis 2 – Olympiakos 2
Olympiakos came back from two goals down to grab a 2-2 draw in their first leg of their Greek Cup semi-final against Asteras Tripolis in the Peleponnese.
Diogo was the hero for the Reds as he bagged two goals, including a wonderful header, to set up an intriguing second leg at the Karaiskaki Stadium next month.
Lucio Filomeno had put the home side 2-0 up, opening the scoring on the half hour and adding the second five minutes later.
Three minutes before half-time, however, Olympiakos clawed their way back into the game when Diogo found the back of the net.
The Brazilian levelled the scores in the 72nd minute with a diving header after a pinpoint cross from Luciano Galletti and, although Olympiakos had Sebastian Leto sent off in four minutes from time for a second yellow card, the reds have given themselves an excellent chance of going through to the final.