Greens hit rock bottom after shock loss to Kerkyra
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 3
|Kerkyra||1 - 0||Panathinaikos|
Panathinaikos’ disastrous start to the new SuperLeague season took another turn for the worse on Sunday as they suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat by Kerkyra which leaves them bottom of the table.
Denis Epstein scored the only goal of the game in the 18th minute, coolly slotting home from the penalty spot after new Greens captain Giorgos Koutroubis was rightly-punished for a handball.
Panathinaikos will feel aggrieved with the result however, as Marinos Ouzounidis’ team, who are still on zero points after three matches due to sanctions carried over from crowd troubles last season, wasted several good chances to score.
On top of that, the visitors were left fuming late on after strong claims for a penalty were waved away by match referee Ioannis Papadopoulos when Kerkyra defender Aristidis Soiledis fouled Bryan Cabezas in the box as the Panathinaikos tried to get a shot on goal.
It was a frustrating night at the Kerkyra Stadium for Panathinaikos, who were playing their first match since the departure of naturalized Greece midfielder Zeca, who joined FC Copenhagen.
The first moment of controversy came after 11 minutes when home defender Christos Gromitsaris clearly fouled Panathinaikos’ Argentine forward Andrés Chávez a he looked to race clear but the referee waved play on.
To rub salt in those wounds the home side went and scored the opener seven minutes later.
Panathinaikos responded well, however, and should have been level before half-time with Brazilian forward Luciano, Swedish striker Oscar Hiljemark and Frenchman Anthony Mounier all wasting great chances to score.
Kerkyra could have put the game to bed just after half-time bit Epstein was thwarted by Odisseas Vlachodimos in the visitors’ goal, and from them on it was all Panathinaikos again.
There was more frustration for the Greens when Cabezas missed a golden chance to equalize 10 minutes from full time when he headed wide after great work from substitutes Omri Altman and Guillermo Molins.
Then came the biggest talking point two minutes from the final whistle when Cabezas was impeded by Soiledis, but a penalty was not awarded and the home side held on for a shock win.
After Charalambou Kalogeropoulos was temporarily suspended as punishment for his poor performance in Olympiacos’ 1-1 draw with Skoda Xanthi, there are sure to be ramifications for Papadopoulos after some questionable decisions from the official in this match.