Bo­tia strikes early as Olympiakos beat Pan­io­n­ios 2-0

Malta Independent - - SPORT -

De­fend­ing cham­pion Olympiakos scored a goal in each half at Pan­io­n­ios to win 2-0 and go top of the Greek league on Satur­day. Alberto Bo­tia scored with a 15thminute header off a cor­ner, and Luka Milivo­je­vic added the sec­ond with a free kick in the 64th. Both teams had a player sent off with a sec­ond yel­low card late in the game - Panayi­o­tis Ret­sos for Olympiakos, and Valenti­nos Vla­hos for Pan­io­n­ios. Olympiakos is two points ahead of Panathi­naikos - which can re­claim first place if it beats vis­it­ing Xan­thi on Sun­day - and three ahead of Pan­io­n­ios. Also Satur­day, Asteras picked up its first points of the sea­son af­ter four losses, beat­ing Pla­ta­nias 2-0. Pane­to­likos thrashed Kerkyra 4-0.

Hiber­ni­ans 56 Gzira Ath­leta 71 (4-18, 14-24, 14-21, 24-8)

Ath­leta's vic­tory over the Pao­lites per­mit­ted them to go straight into the semis given that Hibs were suf­fer­ing their sec­ond de­feat in the Pool and that meant also that Flo­ri­ana will also go in the semis with the match be­tween them and Ath­leta to de­ter­mine the win­ner of the Pool.

Both sides fielded the same for­ma­tions as in their pre­vi­ous matches.

Ath­leta be­gan with a three hoop spread be­fore the Pao­lites man­aged two hoops with an­other from Ath­leta in be­tween.

Hibs were then smoth­ered by the strong Ath­leta out­fit as the lat­ter put in a long 10-0 run which took them to the end of the ses­sion as Josiah White­head Michael Naudi and Peter Shoults made their points.

In the next pe­riod Hibs were more ad­ven­tur­ous but they were fac­ing de­ter­mined op­po­nents as White­head and Naudi kept on with their points. The Spa­niard Al­varo Lizaur and Ryan Carabott net­ted triples for the Pao­lites but at the other end it was Naudi twice, from White­head and Billy Zam­mit, mak­ing their treys as Ath­leta kept on get­ting fur­ther away from Hibs.

At the in­ter­val Ath­leta were coast­ing on a com­fort­able 42-18 ad­van­tage.

Af­ter the break, Ath­leta im­me­di­ately put in an early 8-2 run with an­other Zam­mit triple. The Pao­lites man­aged a trio of hoops with ath­leta then mak­ing up a 7-0 run. Till the end of the ses­sion Ath­leta's lead had in­creased fur­ther go­ing on to a bet­ter 63-32 ad­van­tage.

The last ses­sion had Hibs vy­ing to make the score a more re­spectable one as they be­gan with thre triples two by Luke Far­ru­gia and Lizaur in be­tween.

Ath­leta took their feet off the throt­tle and the Pao­lites went on with an 11-2 run end­ing with an Isaac Bonett trey. It was all white­head for Ath­leta in this pe­riod

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