Panionios Cut Olympiacos Lead...AEK Fall 2 Points Behind Playoff Spot
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 23
|Panionios||1 - 1||AEK|
|Masouras 59'||Araujo 38'|
Panionios failed to capitalize on leaders Olympiacos’ stuttering form as they were held to a 1-1 draw at home in Nea Smyrni to in-form AEK in Monday night’s final match of the SuperLeague Matchday 23 fixtures.
Panionios went into the match aiming to cut the gap between themselves and Olympiacos to just four points following the reigning champions’ 2-0 defeat to PAOK on Sunday, but Vladan Milojevic’s men fell behind to a 38th-minute goal from AEK’s Argentine forward Sergio Araujo.
The hosts did recover and draw level through Greek forward Giorgos Masouras a minute before the hour mark, however, and they would have gone on to win the match had it not been for some impressive goalkeeping from AEK custodian Vasilis Barkas.
Barkas kept the hosts at bay as they lay siege to his goal in the second half, saving his best block three minutes from time from French midfielder Kevin Tapoko as Panionios missed a golden chance to clinch a win they chased desperately.
The result did allow Panionios to claw another point closer to Olympiacos, as they are just six points adrift with seven matches remaining.
AEK, who who have been revitalized by Spanish coach Manolo Jimenez, and are back in the battle for a playoff place. The Kitrinomavri lie in sixth place with 37 points, just two points behind Xanthi who occupy the final playoff spot in fifth.