10-man Atromitos held to a draw by determined Greens
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 12
|Atromitos||1 - 1||Panathinaikos|
|Dauda 3'||Molins (P) 29'|
Atromitos missed out of the chance to take over at the top of the SuperLeague after a determined display from Panathinaikos ensured Saturday night’s late matchday 12 clash ended in a 1-1 draw.
Nigerian forward Abiola Dauda put the home side ahead early on at the Peristeri Municipal Stadium with a powerful finish, only to see his effort cancelled out by Guillermo Molins’ penalty on the half-hour mark.
There were chances for both sides to win a fast-flowing game, but the scoreboard remained unchanged after half-time, while Atromitos also finished with 10 players following the dismissal of captain Kyriakos Kivrakidis in the 68th minute for picking up a second booking.
The result means Atromitos move level on 21 points with leaders AEK and second-placed PAOK, but those two teams have a game in hand and are inaction on Sunday so can move further ahead.
Panathinaikos, who have suffered from indifferent form - especially away from home - this season, move up to eighth spot having collected 15 points.
Damir Canadi’s Atromitos, who have led the league table in recent weeks, went into the match eager to reclaim top spot in the table having been knocked off their perch last time out.
And the Peristeri club went ahead after just three minutes when Dauda fired home an unstoppable shot past Sokratis Dioudis in the Panathinaikos goal following a great pass from Theodoros Vasilikakis.
The Greens struggled to cope with the home side’s play in the first half and there were further chances for Atromitos to score in the 14th and 15th minutes but Diodis pulled off two fine saves to deny Dauda and Vasilikakis.
Panathinaikos finally played their way into the game more mid-way through the half and after threatening the home defence on a couple of occasions, they pulled level on the half-hour mark after being awarded a penalty when Israeli forward Omri Altman was fouled by Dimitris Chatziisaias.
Molins stepped up and struck his penalty straight down the middle, with the ball ending up in the back of the net despite the best efforts of home keeper Andrea Gianniotis.
Atromitos began the second half in the same gusto as the first, and they should have been 2-1 up three minutes in when Brazilian midfielder Madson hit a thunderbolt of a shot goalwards.
Panathinaikos keeper Dioudis somehow got a hand to the ball and parried it onto the crossbar, however as the visitors escaped.
The hosts’ chances of winning the match were dealt a blow in the 68th minute when skipper Kivrakidis saw red after picking up a second booking for a bad foul on Panathinaikos midfielder Robin Lod.
Both teams sought a winner as the game became more stretched in the closing stages of the second half, but a breakthrough was not forthcoming and the match ended in a draw - with Canadi also being sent to the stands in the third minute of added time for over-zealous protests aimed at the officials.