Olympiacos Increase Lead Heading Into Break (Matchday 15 Recap)

Olympiacos Increase Lead Heading Into Break
(Matchday 15 Recap)

 

Olympiacos were the big winners on Matchday 15 as they increased their lead atop the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague standings. Paulo Bento’s team were made to work for their 3-1 win over Panetolikos, but the Piraeus side persevered and now lead their title rivals by nine points.

That is because Panathinaikos were held to a 0-0 draw in Larisa as Marinos Ouzounidis’ side dropped two more points. Xanthi moved into a tie for second place as they continued an impressive ten-match unbeaten run by trouncing Veria away 4-0. AEK came as close as possible to a win, only for a controversial late goal to deny them in a 1-1 draw with PAS Giannina.

PAOK showed they have recovered from a terrible run as they picked another victory by destroying Kerkyra 5-0 away. Levadiakos continued to display their complete loss of form as they were beaten easily by Panionios 4-1 at home. 

Iraklis came close to their second win of the season, but were denied by a late Asteras Tripolis strike in their 1-1 draw.

*For the current SuperLeague standings click here or visit the Greek SuperLeague home page for more.


OLYMPIACOS - PANETOLIKOS

Olympiacos 3 - 1 Panetoiikos
Seba 61'
Cardozo 83'
Figueiras 85'
Kousas 52'


Though unconvincing, Olympiacos showed the consistency of a champion by defeating Panetolikos 3-1 in Sunday’s early kick-off. In an even affair, Panetolikos played very well and had very good chances throughout the 90 minute and perhaps should have deserved something from this match.

The game’s first two biggest chances fell Panetolikos’ way. Farley Rosa’s breakaway run just 10 minutes in looked like it could have been the opener, but the player slid his shot just wide. A carbon copy of that glorious opportunity was had on 43 minutes, this time Marcos Paulo broke free past a high Olympiacos defensive line, but when clean through his far post effort also went agonizingly wide. Just before the break, Olympiacos responded when Oscar Cardozo shot powerfully against the crossbar.

Giorgos Kousas stunned the home crowd when he gave the away side the lead seven minutes after halftime as he headed home from a free-kick. Olympiacos came back within 10 minutes as Seba finished off a lovely move involving Cardozo and Andres Martins. Cardozo tapped home the eventual winner seven minutes from the end as was the recipient of Seba’s cross. The finishing touch was added by Diogo Figueiras as his deflected effort made it 3-1 in the 85th. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


LARISSA - PANATHINAIKOS

Larissa 0 - 0 Panathinaikos

41 fouls, 7 yellow cards, and one red card were the main statistics in the 0-0 draw between Larisa and Panathinaikos on Sunday night. There were some chances, mainly from Larisa, but most of the play was characterized by some tough tackles that bordered on dirty as well as play-acting on many occasions by both teams. 

Panathinaikos looked disjointed and tired with their only real chances coming in a short span in the second half. Larisa looked a touch more vibrant, but though they created some dangerous situations, they too could only manufacture a couple of real chances throughout the 90 minutes. 

Even with a man advantage 10 minutes from time following Zeca’s red card for lashing out in an off-the-ball incident, Larisa showed that they are currently lacking the cutting edge to turn matches like this into victories. 

The draw leaves Panathinaikos in a tie for second place with Xanthi as they fall 9 points behind leaders Olympiacos. Larisa moves to two points above Veria in the last relegation place. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


AEK - PAS GIANNINA

AEK 1 - 1 PAS Giannina
Galo 67' Maboulou 90+4'

AEK came within seconds of the three points, but a late goal ensured PAS Giannina received a share of the spoils in the two teams’ 1-1 draw on Monday night. It was an eventful evening at the Olympic Stadium in a match that had a little bit of everything in it and no shortage of strange events.

The odd happenings began early on with AEK going down a man. Christos Aravidis head-butted Thodoris Berios doing his best Zidane impression and leaving his team with 10 men from the 10th minute. It was a terrible reaction by the young player who surely will face consequences for leaving his side down a player so early with such a poor decision.  AEK,  however were undeterred by playing with 10 men,  and had the best chance of the first half when they won a penalty in the 30th minute. Patito Rodriguez’s surging run into the box was illegally halted, but Petros Mantalos’ ensuing spot-kick came back off the post.

Both teams were looking for the opener in a fairly open game. AEK found it just after the hour mark. Tomas Pekhart scored under unusual circumstances in the 67th minute when Giannina ‘keeper Kostas Peristeridis could not hold onto an innocuous looking shot, spilling the ball for Pekhart to tap home. 

AEK were dangerous on the break, but PAS were beginning to push forward in greater numbers. Two minutes into injury time, PAS thought they had equalized, but the goal was correctly called back for offside. There was more to come however. At the death, the visitors struck the equalizer as Christopher Maboulou reacted quickest to a loose ball in the box to score from close range. AEK were denied the three points in dramatic fashion, though replays suggested Maboulou was offside.

The reality is AEK drop another two points as they fall to 5th (20 points) in the table with Giannina inching up to 6th (18 points).

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


KERKYRA - PAOK

Kerkyra 0 - 5 PAOK
Andreopoulos (og) 1'
Biseswar 23'
Campos 33', 58'
Leo Matos 61'

PAOK destroyed Kerkyra 5-0 away from home in a comprehensive beat down of their opponents. Vladan Ivic’s side has come on in the last couple weeks and will have a decent holiday season should they focus on recent results. 

A minute into this match and PAOK took the lead when Kyriakos Andreopoulos scored an own goal when trying to clear a cross. Diego Biseswar made it 2-0 from the top of the box for a rampant PAOK side in the 23rd minute as o Dikefalos tou Vorra showed early they were intent on dominating. Djalma Campos then scored two goals, one a rebound from a Stefanos Athanasiadis’ penalty miss in the 34th minute and the second just before the hour mark with a nice finish from the edge of the area.

The scoring was rounded out by Leo Matos in the 61st minute as his deflected header found the back of the net. PAOK move up to 7th with the win on 17 points, while Kerkyra remain on 12 points in 12th place.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


VERIA - XANTHI

Veria 0 - 4 Xanthi
Lisgaris 19'
Younes (p) 58', 61', (p) 67'

Xanthi served another notice that they are without question this season’s surprise package as they walloped Veria 4-0. It was a superb away win for Razvan Lucescu’s men as they moved to 10 matches unbeaten with their fourth straight victory. 

Veria did manage most of the possession in this match-up, but Xanthi were ruthlessly efficient as they scored on four of their five shots on goal. Younes Hamza secured a hat-trick with 3 goals in a nine-minute second half explosion (58th-PK, 61st, and 67th-PK) following up the strike that had given Xanthi a first-half lead which was from an contested Christos Lisgaras header in the 19th minute. The result was never really in doubt as the second half wore on and Xanthi head into the New Year with massive momentum, while Veria need to make changes surely should they want to avoid the drop.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


LEVADIAKOS - PANIONIOS

Levadiakos 1 - 4 Panionios
Giakoumakis 43'


Risvanis 36'
Korbos 44'
Shojaei 50'
Ben 65'

Panionios won their second match in a row by defeating Levadiakos 4-1 on Sunday. Levadiakos look to be a side in deep trouble as they have now given up 12 goals in their last three matches

Spyros Risvanis gave the visitors the lead on 36 minutes, but Levadiakos fought back to equalize just before the break when Petros Giakoumakis scored two minutes from the interval.

The turning point of the game came just a minute later as Panagiotios Korbos struck back to give Panionios the 2-1 advantage. That goal was crucial and Masoud Shojaei’s finish five minutes after halftime put Panionios in full control. In the 65th minute, Ben made it 4-1 effectively ending the match as a contest.

The win brings Panionios back up to 4th place while Levadiakos drop to 12th and now have the league’s worst defensive record with 23 goals conceded.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


PLATANIAS - ATROMITOS

Platanias 3 - 0 Atromitos
Karypidis 68'
Giakoumakis 70', 84'

Before the winter break, Platanias picked a super time to find their first victory in nine matches. The winless run ended on Saturday with a 3-0 beating of Atromitos. In an even affair for the first two-thirds of this match, Platanias were deadly in front of goal in the final 20 minutes. Christos Karypidis opened the scoring on 68 minutes with a looping header. 

As Atromitos came out of their shell, they were punished by Giorgos Giakoumakis who bagged a brace with strikes in the 70th and 84th minutes, the second goal an especially superb finish. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


IRAKLIS - ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

Iraklis 1 - 1 Asteras Tripolis
Kyriakidis 76' Bertos 89'

Iraklis will be left lamenting their inability to hold on as a late equalizer saw them draw 1-1 against Asteras Tripolis. In a hard-fought match that saw some 40 fouls, the emphasis was surely on the result for both sides. Asteras enjoyed the majority of possession throughout and had more numerous chances to score. However it was Iraklis who broke the deadlock when Pavlos Kyriakidis struck after 76 minutes. 

The home side looked set to celebrate their second win of the season, but Manolis Bertos popped up a minute from the end to give Asteras a share of the spoils. It was a result that probably left both teams disappointed; however Asteras will have been happier with the late grab of a point. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...

 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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