Panthers Suffer Another Loss While Xanthi End With Win

Panthers Suffer Another Loss While Xanthi end with win

GREEK superleague - matchday 30

Date Home Team Score Away Team
30-Apr-17 Xanthi 3 - 0 Veria
30-Apr-17 Atromitos 4 - 1 Platanias
30-Apr-17 Asteras Tripolis 2 - 2 Iraklis
30-Apr-17 Panionios 1 - 3 Levadiakos

Panionios suffered an unexpected 3-1 home loss to relegated Levadiakos on Sunday in their final match of the regular SuperLeaugue season, a sorry finish to a campaign that had promised so much for Vladan Milojevic’s impressive team. Meanwhile up in Xanthi the home side defeated bottom club Veria 3-0. Asteras and Iraklis drew 2-2 while Atromitos thumped Platanias 4-1.

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French midfielder Kevin Tapoko put Panionios ahead in the sixth minute, but an equaliser just one minute later from Ivory Coast forward Lossémy Karaboué allowed Levadiakos back in the match.

The Livadeia club, playing without any pressure having already suffered relegation, went on to score twice through Jackson Mendy (25) and Petros Giakoumakis (87) as the hosts struggled to create clear scoring chances.

Easily the surprise package of the 2016/17 season, Panionios were in second place pushing Olympiacos all the way until a 1-0 defeat at Panathinaikos on Matchday 27 came like a sucker punch for the Nea Smyrni club.

That loss started a run of four matches in which the Panthers have picked up just one point in a stuttering finish to the campaign, ended the standings in fifth place, nine points adrift of second-placed PAOK.

Like AEK, Panionios will begin the playoff on May 10 pointless, while PAOK will starts with two points and Panathinaikos with one point.

Tunisian forward Hamza Younes was on target with the opening goal for the home side after 20 minutes, and he would have made it 2-0 16 minutes later if not for the woodwork. Still, Xanthi were not to be denied more goals as Algerian forward Karim Soltani (45) and Younes again (75 pen) struck again to complete a comprehensive win.

Xanthi’s story of 2016/17 is similar to Panionios, as they also occupied second spot at one point, but the Northern club struggled for consistency and faded badly in the final third of the season.

Xanthi finished the regular season in sixth spot, four points behind Panionios - the last team that made the playoffs. Despite that, Xanthi is still harboring some hope of snatching a ticket to the Europa League in case one of the teams in the playoffs does not get a permit to play in Europe for financial reasons.

Elsewhere, eighth-placed Atromitos beat seventh-placed Platanias 4-1 and Iraklis, who completed an amazing relegation escape act last week, grabbed a 2-2 draw at Asteras Tripolis.

by: Graham Wood
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