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The Malaysian Insider :: Sports

Fans clash with police after AEK Athens win Greek Cup

Posted: 30 Apr 2011 08:28 PM PDT

Pitch battle sours end to AEK Athens' nine-year drought at Olympic stadium in Athens. — Reuters pic

ATHENS, May 1 — AEK Athens yesterday ended a nine-year trophy drought by lifting the Greek Cup with a 3-0 win over Atromitos Athinon, but their win was marred after dozens of fans clashed with the police following a pitch invasion.

Fans tossed seats and plastic bottles on to the pitch following the final whistle and also ripped out advertising hoardings before the police managed to clear the crowds.

The kickoff was also delayed for several minutes as police dispersed small groups from both sets of fans who tried to get on to the pitch, and threw fireworks and flares at each other.

Goals from Greek international Nikos Liberopoulos, Nabil Baha and Pantelis Kafes sealed the win for Manuel Jimenez's team, whose last trophy was in the 2002 edition of the same competition.

Both teams struggled to find their rhythm before Liberopoulos opened the scoring in the 28th minute with a glancing header from Nacho Scocco's pinpoint right-wing cross.

That proved to be Scocco's final contribution as the Argentine limped off. His replacement Baha almost doubled the advantage in the 37th minute but his shot was saved by Atromitos keeper Charles Itandje.

Atromitos were unlucky not to draw level just after halftime when Polish defender Marcin Baszczynski's downward header bounced over the crossbar.

The match ended as a contest with 12 minutes left when Baha slammed the ball home from close range after Panagiotis Lagos's cross was deflected into his path.

Lagos was the provider again for AEK's third, playing in Kafes, whose lobbed finish in the 85th minute sealed a 14th Cup triumph for the club. — Reuters


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Barca lose 2-1 at Sociedad, Madrid also beaten

Posted: 30 Apr 2011 06:21 PM PDT

Madrid players look dejected at the end of their encounter with Real Zaragoza at the Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid April 30, 2011. — Reuters pic

MADRID, May 1 — Barcelona missed a chance to virtually wrap up a third straight La Liga title when they surrendered the lead and lost 2-1 at Real Sociedad yesterday.

Real Madrid coach Jose Mourinho had rested key players including Cristiano Ronaldo in the earlier kickoff and saw his side beaten 3-2 at home by relegation-threatened Real Zaragoza.

Leaders Barca were looking in good shape for an 11-point lead over second-placed Real Madrid after Thiago Alcantara opened the scoring in the 29th minute in San Sebastian.

However, Diego Ifran pounced on a loose ball to equalise for mid-table Sociedad with just under 20 minutes remaining and Xabi Prieto netted from the spot in the 82nd minute after substitute Javier Mascherano conceded a penalty.

The result, which meant Barca missed equalling Sociedad's record run of 32 La Liga games unbeaten in the 1979/80 season, leaves Pep Guardiola's side on 88 points from 34 matches.

Real, who beat Barca 1-0 to win a dramatic King's Cup final last week but lost 2-0 to the Catalans in Wednesday's Champions League semi-final first leg, have 80 points in second.

If Real managed to draw level on points, Barca would win the title due to a superior head-to-head record.

They routed Real 5-0 at the Nou Camp in November and drew 1-1 at the Bernabeu earlier this month. — Reuters 

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