-- Vasilakakis and Referees Down the Greens --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 22
|Xanthi||1 - 0||Panathinaikos|
Xanthi ruined Panathinaikos’ chances of moving second in the SuperLeague by edging out the Greens 1-0 in Sunday’s late game, securing their first three-point haul for over a month in the process.
Marinos Ouzounidis’ Panathinaikos arrived in the northern Greek city in a rich vein of form having scored nine goals in their last two fixtures, but they found themselves the victims of several refereeing blunders as Theodore Vasilakakis’ wondergoal proved the difference.
Vasilakakis, who scored in the the teams’ meeting earlier this season, picked up possession after a mistake by Giorgos Koutroubis and with a superb long range strike beat Luke Steele six minutes after the hour mark.
But the key talking point will unfortunately be the performances from the officials who had a poor game to say the least at the expense of Panathinaikos.
First assistant referee Kosmas Harisis was guilty of a wrong decision in the 19 minutes when he flagged Greens’ Sweden striker Marcus Berg for offside when he was sent clean through on goal.
Ioannis Karagiozopoulos then made an almost identical error two minutes after half-time when he wrongly raised his flag in similar circumstances when Lucas Villafanez raced clear.
The icing on the visitor’s cake of misfortunate, however, came late on when, as they frantically pressed for an equalizer, legitimate claims for a penalty were waved away by referee Dimitris Thanos when Xanthi’s French defender Salimo Sylla felled Villafanez in the home side’s box.
Panathinaikos remain in fourth place with 38 points as a result, while Xanthi - who have struggled for form since last picking up a win on January 18, move into fifth spot with 36 points.