Under Strength Greens See Off AEK
GREEK superleague playoffs - MATCHDAY 4
|Panathinaikos||1 - 0||AEK|
|Leto (p) 62'|
A weakened Panathinaikos side showed their mettle on Wednesday by defeating city rivals AEK Athens 1-0 at the Apostolos Nikolaidis stadium in a tightly-contested SuperLeague playoff Matchday 4 clash.
The Greens’ Argentine forward Sebastian Leto scored the only goal of the game in the 62nd minute from the penalty spot to seal all three points for Marinos Ouzounidis’ team, who moved into third spot in the playoff standings with five points.
Panathinaikos are just three points behind leaders PAOK, but that is likely to change if - as expected - the Trifili are deduced three points in their disciplinary case concerning the abandoned match against PAOK when the Salonica club’s coach was hit with a beer can thrown by a Greens’ fan.
AEK remain in second, two points behind PAOK with six points from four matches.
Against AEK, despite being without the likes of Marcus Berg, Lucas Villafanez, Paul-José M'Poku and Ousmane Coulibaly, Panathinaikos were the better side against Manolo Jimenez’s out-of-sorts team.
The Greens’ Brazilian central defender Rodrigo Moledo hit the woodwork on the half-hour mark, while AEK forward Lazaros Christodoulopoulos was denied by Panathinaikos goalkeeper Odisseas Vlachodimos shortly after when clean through on goal.
Chances were at a premium in the second half, and the crucial moment came two minutes after the hour mark when AEK’s Brazilian defender Rodrigo Galo was penalised for a handball in the penalty area.
Leto confidently stepped up to slot the ball home from 12 yards, and his goal proved the difference between the two teams on the night as the Greens avenged their defeat to AEK at the Olympic Stadium last time out.