Olympiacos are the Winter Champions (Matchday 1 Recap)

Olympiacos are the Winter Champions
(Matchday 1 Recap)

 

Forgotten man Marko Marin came on as a substitute to produce the winner as Olympiacos defeated Asteras Tripolis in action from the delayed Matchday 1 of the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague. The German playmaker scored three minutes into injury time as Olympiacos secured a victory, giving them the unofficial crowning as “Winter Champions.” The Erythrolefki sit atop the Greek SuperLeague standings by nine points. 

Xanthi kept up their fantastic run of form defeating Iraklis away 1-0. That was the 5th straight league win for Razvan Lucescu’s team and their 11th straight match without defeat.

Platanias shocked many observers by defeating Panathinaikos 1-0. It was the first loss for the Prasini under Marinos Ouzounidis. 

AEK were disappointing once again as they dominated proceedings, but could not manage to score in a 0-0 draw against Panetolikos.

PAOK picked up their 3rd consecutive league win by defeating Levadiakos 1-0 away thanks to a late Dimitris Pelkas header. In the AGONAsport Match of the Week, Panionios and PAS Giannina played out a hard-fought 1-1 draw in a game that had playoff implications.

Elsewhere, Larisa came up with a big 2-1 win over Veria in a bottom of the table clash. Kerkyra and Atromitos could not be separated in a 1-1 draw.

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


OLYMPIACOS - ASTERAS TRIPOLIS

Olympiacos 2 - 1 Asteras Tripolis
Fortounis 54'
Marin 90'+3'
Mazza (p) 26'

A Marko Marin strike at the death saw Olympiacos come from behind to defeat Asteras Tripolis on Wednesday night at the Georgios Karaiskakis. Paulo Bento’s side eked out the three points in a match where Asteras had chances to grab something from.

With a high press that disrupted Olympiacos, Asteras were the better side in the first half and had some big opportunities on the counter-attack to score. The visitors eventually opened the scoring though a Pablo Mazza penalty just before the half hour after he was adjudged to have been taken down by Olympiacos goalkeeper Nicola Leali. It was a questionable decision though Asteras were well worth their lead.

Olympiacos came out with purpose after the break and after some early chances equalized on 54 minutes in spectacular fashion. Kostas Fortounis’ long-distance strike easily a contender for goal of the season as the Greek international dragged his team back into the contest. Olympiacos pressed hard for the winner, but had to wait for the dying moments of the match for their reward. Substitute Marin pouncing on a rebound to score giving the home side a priceless win.

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


PLATANIAS - PANATHINAIKOS

Platanias 1 - 0 Panathinaikos
Yaya 74'

A 74th minute goal by Yaya Banana gave Platanias a 1-0 home win over Panathinaikos. The result leaves the visiting side in 3rd place in the table and 12 points behind Olympiacos. 

It was a disastrous evening in Chania for Marinos Ouzounidis' men who produced a disjointed effort. 

The first half was poor in quality with both teams unable to create much in the way of chances. Panathinaikos’ first shot came just before the break while Platanias were the marginally better side. 

Panathinaikos looked a little more energetic after the break and chances fell their way, but a combination of good goalkeeping from Dimitris Sotiriou and poor finishing kept them without a goal. 

16 minutes from the end it was the home side who struck what would be the crucial blow. The Panathinaikos backline could not clear a cross and Yaya Banana reacted quickest to shoot home for the 1-0 lead. 

The Prasini pushed forward for the equalizer and had a chance with Marcus Berg toward the end however Sotiriou proved equal to the challenge. 

Platanias move up to 9th with the victory on 17 points while Panathinaikos sit in 3rd place, 12 points behind the league leaders, Olympiacos. The margin seems too big for the Trifylli to have a chance to contest this year's SuperLeague title.

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


IRAKLIS - XANTHI

Iraklis 0 - 1 Xanthi
Younes 57'

Xanthi recorded their 5th straight win overcoming Iraklis 1-0 in Thessaloniki. Younes Hamza scored the winner in the 58th minute with a superb finish. The Tunisian attacker netted his 9th goal of the season (tied with Brown Ideye for the league lead) as he atoned for his first-half penalty miss when Huanderson saved from the Xanthi player.

Iraklis had good spells before and after halftime, but Leozinho and Lefteris Intzoglou could not convert chances. While Iraklis pressed until the end for something from this match, they were unable to break through a well-organized Xanthi side. Emmanuel Perone was red-carded in the 85th minute as Savvas Pantelidis’ men were reduced to 10 men.

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


LEVADIAKOS - PAOK

Levadiakos 0 - 1 PAOK
Pelkas 84'

PAOK had to wait a while, but in the end they overcame Levadiakos 1-0 away on Tuesday. Dimitris Pelkas’ 84th minute goal ensured that the Thessaloniki giants won their 5th straight match in all competitions and without conceding in that spell no less. This was a match dominated by PAOK in all facets and only the brilliant goalkeeping of Moldovan goalkeeper Stanislav Namasco preventing a rout. PAOK had loads of chances throughout with the best being Leo Matos’ effort on 81 minutes that smacked back off the post.

Three minutes later however, PAOK took the lead. Pelkas, a 71st minute substitute, coming on to beat Namasco with a header. PAOK are slowly climbing back up the table. This victory puts them on 20 points in 6th place, while Levadiakos continue their free-fall down the league table, now in 14th place.

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


AEK - PANETOLIKOS

AEK 0 - 0 Panetolikos

New year, but same old AEK as Jose Morais’ team could not manage a goal in a 0-0 draw against Panetolikos. Wednesday night at the Olympic Stadium, AEK’s goalscoring woes continued as they completely dominated this SuperLeague match against Panetolikos, however the Kitrinomavri were unable to find the net dropping two more big points. An inspired Panetolikos backline produced a strong defensive performance and recorded a high number of blocks keeping AEK at bay. What the defense couldn’t stop, Dimitris Kyriakidis in the Panetolikos goal did with a series of big stops.

Panetolikos were happy to bunker, but Mozambique forward Clesio broke free twice in the 67th and 89th minutes, but both times was unable to produce the finish needed to score. The result leaves AEK further off the pace in the title race, now 13 points behind Olympiacos. With the point, Panetolikos are now 10th with 16 points.

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


LARISSA - VERIA

Larissa 2 - 1 Veria
Gallego 54'
Nazlidis (p) 82'
Calvo 45'+8'

Larisa picked up a huge win at home by defeating Veria 2-1 on Wednesday. The match at the AEL FC Arena had a little of everything. Just after kick-off the match was stopped for 16 minutes due to a flare that was thrown onto the field. After the lengthy delay, both teams started in below par fashion. Larisa were the slightly better side, however the chances were few and far between for both teams. Veria opened up the scoring eight (!) minutes into first-half injury-time when Toni Calvo fired home to give the visitors the lead.

After being booed off the pitch at halftime, Larisa responded quickly after the break when they equalized through debutant Pablo Gallego who scored with a header just minutes after coming off as a substitute. A second yellow card for Dodo saw Larisa reduced to 10 men in the 58th minute after the Brazilian attacker was booked for simulation when trying to win a penalty. Veria hit the crossbar in the 76th minute as they were denied going ahead. Larisa completed an unlikely comeback in the 82nd minute when Thomas Nazlidis, a former Veria player, won a penalty and subsequently scored from the spot. That is the way it finished as Larisa move five points clear of Veria and the relegation zone with this massive victory.

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


PANIONIOS - PAS GIANNINA

Panionios 1 - 1 PAS Giannina
Ansarifard 43' Tzimopoulos 79'

One game, two great goals is the simple version of Panionios and PAS Giannina’s 1-1 draw on Thursday. In a match between two rivals for a playoff spot, Panionios looked to be on course for the win until PAS struck 12 minutes from the end.

Panionios came out the better side and were the more threatening team over the first 45 minutes. It was no surprise then when Karim Ansarifard opened the scoring a couple minutes from halftime. The Iranian striker who is the subject of numerous transfer rumors, picked up a pass from compatriot Masoud Shojaei and scored a beautiful goal from a very tight angle.

The home team could have added to their lead in the second half, but Ansarifard in particular missed a couple chances. PAS grew into the match more and Giannis Petrakis made his team more offensive with his substitutions. The move paid off as Themistoklis Tzimopoulos scored a fine long-range strike in the 78th minute earning Giannina a share of the spoils.

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


KERKYRA - ATROMITOS

Kerkyra 1 - 1 Atromitos
Kontos 5' le Tallec 9'

In Kerkyra it all happened in the first 10 minutes as the home side and Atromitos played out a 1-1 draw. The local supporters were given a reason to cheer just five minutes in when Alexandros Kontos scored to give his side the early edge. 

That lead lasted just four minutes however as in the 9th minute, Anthony Le Tallec tied the game at one with a close range finish.
The opening exchanges promised a cracker of a match, however after the blistering start the game fell flat as a contest. Atromitos had two good opportunities following their goal, however after that neither side were able to create much to threaten for a goal. 

The only thing of note in a dull second half was Thuram’s sending off in the 82nd minute. The Brazilian forward was involved in an off-the-ball incident and received a red card for hitting an opponent.

*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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