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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 29 August 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 29 AUGUST 2015 31 SPORT Tough draw for Olympiakos Olympiakos will begin its European Champions League campaign with a home tie against German giants Bayern Munich on Wednesday 16 September. The Greek champions were drawn into Group F, alongside Bayern, English Premier League club Arsenal and Croatian champions Dinamo Zagreb. Olympiakos have only ever met Bayern once in Europea competition, in the 1980/81 European Champion Clubs' Cup first round, a 4-2 triumph in Piraeus setting up Bayern's 7-2 aggregate success. Arsenal and Olympiakos are in the same group for the fourth time in seven seasons, having also been drawn together in 2009/10, 2011/12 and 2012/13. Each of the six preceding games has been won by the home team. This will be the third time that the final game of the group stages will be Olympiakos versus Arsenal in Piraeus. Dinamo and Olympiakos have faced off in two previous ties, each winning one. Dinamo overturned a 3-1 away defeat in the 1977/78 UEFA Cup first round courtesy of a 5-1 second-leg triumph and then Olympiakos took belated revenge in the 1998/99 UEFA Champions League group stage, collecting four points with a 2-0 home victory and 1-1 away draw. Olympiakos defender Dimitris Siovas says the draw is a difficult one but Olympiakos can be the surprise package. "We were drawn into a tough group, but we have proved in the past that we can respond to challenges. We are strong at home and we will try to make the most of it - that will be key. We have beaten Arsenal before and that is why we can dream of progress - we can snatch second place from them," Siovas said after the draw. Big three seek second wins GIORGOS HATZIMANOLIS The big three of Athens - Olympiakos, Panathinaikos and AEK - will all seek to record their second successive wins of the new Greek Super League season this weekend. Defending champions Olympiakos will make the short trip from Piraeus to Athens today as the second round of fixtures get underway. Olympiakos, coming off a 3-0 home win against Panionios in its opening game last week, will take on Levadiakos, in what is billed as an away game for the champions after levadiakos home stadium was deemed unfit to host the match. Olympiakos had an easy start to the competition last week, making light work of Panionios as it eventually ran out 3-0 winners. Under new coach Marco Silva the team, which has made several changes to the side that won the league last year, took the lead in the 25th minute when Kostas Fourtounis scored a great goal following a cross from Jimmy Durmaz. The host doubled its lead in the 72nd minute through Greek Under-21 midfielder Andreas Bouchalakis, before substitute Mathiew Dossevi rounded off the scoring with a long range strike in time added on. In its first game of the season Levadiakos lost 1-0 at Atromitos. The second game of this weekend is Panthrakikos against Ve- PAO dumped out of Europe Athens club knocked out by a team from Azerbaijan formed just ten year ago GIORGOS HATZIMANOLIS Supporters of Panathinaikos are calling for the immediate resignation of coach Yiannis Anastasiou after their side was eliminated from the Europa League by a club from Azerbaijan that was established just ten years ago. A 2-2 draw in Athens on Thursday saw Azerbaijani side Qabala go through on the away goals rule. PAO fans begun chanting against Anastasiou, almost all the players and club president Yiannis Alafouzos. ria in Komotini. Home side Panthrakikos lost its first game of the year 2-0 away at Asteras Tripolis, while Veria drew last week 1-1 against PAS Giannena. Tonight's late game will see Xanthi, which drew 0-0 with PAOK in Thessaloniki last week, host AEK Athens. AEK made a triumphant return to top flight football following a two-year absence with a comfortable 3-0 home win over Platanias at the Olympic Stadium. Goals from Venezuelan forward Ronald Vargas, Brazilian defender Rodrigo Galo and Greek striker Christos Aravidis saw AEK take the three points. Galo's goal, a beautiful strike following a great run on the left flank, was deemed the goal of the week in the first round of fixtures. There are four games scheduled for tomorrow (Sunday), including Asteras Tripolis against Panaitolikos and the first home game of the season for newly promoted Iraklis against another historic team Panionios. Panathinaikos, who came from behind to record a valuable 1-2 away victory at Panaitolikos last week, also plays on Sunday, entertaining AEL Kallonis in Athens. Meanwhile PAOK, who started its campaign with a disappointing 0-0 home draw against Xanthi, plays in Sunday's late game, away to PAS Giannena. The round draws to a close on Monday when Platanias hosts Atromitos in Crete. Qabala opened the scoring in just the sixth minute when a Dodô headed home from very close range to the bottom left corner following a corner. PAO equalised in the 34th minute through its star player, Swedish striker Marcus Berg, whose left footed shot from the centre of the box went into the top left corner. Dodô then scored his second of the night to put Qabala back in the lead as his right footed shot from the centre of the box flew into the top right corner. PAO then grabbed one back through Nano González in the 78th minute when his right footed shot from outside the box found the net following a set piece situation. That set up a frantic final ten minutes but PAO was unable to find the winning goal and was eventually booed off the field by the home supporters. In Denmark, Thessaloniki club PAOK drew 1-1 with local side Brondby, giving PAOK a 6-1 win on aggregate. In front of just 6,630 supporters Brondby never looked like threatening PAOK's commanding first leg 5-0 lead. PAOK went ahead through a first half header by Ricardo Costa, only for Brondby to draw level through Elba Rashani, who capitalised on an error by PAOK's goalkeeper. In Istanbul, Turkish club Fenerbahce defeated Atromitos 3-0 in the second leg of the Europa League qualifiers to go through 4-0 on aggregate. The Brazilian striker Fernandao scored two goals. The third was an own goal by the Belarusian goalkeeper Andrey Gorbunov. That leaves PAOK and Asteras Tripolis as the only two Greek sides in the Europa League this season. Bergers take on Pascoe Vale in NPL elimination final State leagues return after catch up round of star striker Dan Heffernan, who is thought to be on the verge of signing for ALeague team Central Coast Mainers, and isn't a certainty to play in Sunday's NPL elimination final. With the euphoria of Wednesday night's FFA Cup win still hovering around Olympic Village, Heidelberg's attention now turns towards another suddendeath match as the NPL elimination finals kick off this weekend. The Bergers will start warm favourite against a Pascoe Vale team it has already beaten in both their encounters this season. Heidelberg coach George Katsakis is confident he has the depth and balance in his squad to rotate players successfully after a short turnaround form its midweek Cup success. Katsakis, however, may have to cover the major loss The other elimination final this weekend, between Melbourne Knights and Hume City, was played last night. Both South Melbourne and Bentleigh Greens enter the finals next weekend. In NPL 1 E , Kingston City's 3-4 home defeat to Melbourne Victory last Monday, almost certainly ended its challenge to Richmond for a play-off spot. City trails Richmond by seven points with just three rounds remaining. This Monday night it hosts Melbourne City at the Grange in a Rd 26 cross conference match. Fourth-placed Box Hill United hosts second-placed Ballarat Red Devils at Wem- bley Park today in what promises to be an entertaining encounter as the Devils have everything to play for. Brunswick City face the tough task of taking on an in-form Dandenong City at Frank Holohan Reserve today. State League NW 1 leader Western Suburbs plays a crucial Rd 20 match today away to second-placed Sydenham Park. With just three points separating both teams, a win to Suburbs will clinch the title but a loss will blow the title race open. In State League 1 SE, FC Clifton Hill and South Springvale are battling it out for second place with Clifton Hill three points ahead. The Hillmen travel to fourth-placed Frankston Pines today whilst Souths hosts Manningham. Malvern City host Noble Park United. The race for promotion in State League 2 NW continues with both Yarraville FC and Sporting Whittlesea still in the running. Thirdplaced Yarraville will be looking to grab all three points away to Hume United today whilst fourth-placed Sporting Whittlesea will have a tougher challenge away to league leader Moreland United. In interstate NPL finals action this weekend, West Adelaide hosts Adelaide Blue Eagles in the return leg of the major semi-final, after both teams fought out a 1-1 draw in the first leg last weekend. Wests are the slight favourites, having scored an away goal in the first leg draw. In Sydney last night, Syd- ney Olympic played the minor semi-final against Apia Leichhardt Tigers, having eliminated South Coast Wolves 2-0 in the previous week's elimination final.
22 August 2015
5 September 2015