Panathinaikos top Group with tepid 1:1 draw against Panachaiki
GREEK SOCCER CUP - GROUP STAGE (MATCHDAY 3)
|Panachaiki||1 - 1||Panathinaikos|
|Argyropoulos (P) 40'||Hiljemark 29'|
Panathinaikos were held to a tepid 1:1 draw against Panachaiki in the Greek Cup, but the Greens still topped Group H to progress to the playoffs.
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The Athens giants selected a strong squad for this match, even slotting Odisseas Vlachodimos between the sticks instead of reserve goalkeeper Sokratis Dioudis. However, despite boasting the majority of possession, it was Panachaiki who came closest to opening the scoring when Vlachodimos did brilliantly to divert an acrobatic header off target.
Nevertheless, Panathinaikos broke the deadlock on 29 minutes. Anastasios Chatzigiovannis’ clever pass towards the area found Swede Oscar Hiljemark, who turned the ball past 43 year old Konstantinos Chalkias. It seemed that the away team would go on to dominate proceedings, but Panachaiki had other ideas. With the break approaching, Emanuel Insua made a poor sliding challenge on the edge of the box, a tackle which resulted in the referee pointing to the spot. Efthimios Argyropoulos converted the penalty with ease, sliding his effort into the centre of the goal.
Panathinaikos probed for spaces behind the organised Panachaiki defence in the second half, but the closest they came was a driven Chatzigiovannis shot which fizzed wide. Requiring a victory to progress, Panachaiki threw everything at their illustrious visitors during the closing stages, almost scoring a dramatic winner when Vlachodimos made a superb stop at point blank range. Panathinaikos held on to the point though, progressing from Group H along with AEL Larissa.