Tue, Dec 23, 2008 - Page 18 News List

Sports Soccer Shorts

AGENCIES

■ GREECE

Olympiakos extend lead

Luciano Galletti came off the bench on Sunday to convert an injury-time penalty for Olympiakos as they beat last-place Thrasivoulos 2-1 and extended their lead to six points in the Greek league. Olympiakos’ Sebastian Leto scored in the 20th minute, but a Yiannis Chloros header eight minutes later leveled for Thrasivoulos. Olympiakos squandered a series of chances before Leto gave the hosts the lead. In the 28th minute, Chloros headed in off a free-kick from Manolis Liapakis to silence the sold-out crowd of 35,000 Olympiakos supporters. The second half saw Olympiakos launch a series of attacks, but the Thrasivoulos defense held firm until the first minute of injury-time when the referee awarded a disputed penalty. Galletti, who had replaced Oscar in the 58th minute, made no mistake from the spot. Panathinaikos’ game was marred by clashes between both sets of fans, forcing it to be suspended for 10 minutes in the second half and for police to use tear gas. Panathinaikos captain Yiannis Goumas was treated after inhaling gas, but he was able to continue. Panathinaikos dominated play from the start, hitting the post through Goumas in the 36th minute and Dimitris Salpingidis in the 42nd minute. Antonis Petropoulos opened the scoring with a header off a Giorgos Karagounis cross in the 52nd minute and Salpingidis made it 2-0 four minutes later. Substitute Ante Rukavina scored the third goal in injury-time with a header off a cross by Sotiris Ninis.

■PORTUGAL

Leixoes, Porto slip up

Leixoes and Porto both failed to take over the league leadership after drawing home matches on Sunday. Leixoes finished 1-1 with struggling Amadora, while Porto ended scoreless against Maritimo. Benfica have 25 points, while Leixoes and Porto have 24, one more than Sporting Lisbon. Also on Sunday, it was Pacos Ferreira 2, Setubal 0 and Belenenses 3, Trofense 2. Leixoes took a 58th-minute lead through striker Wesley following Diogo Valente’s corner despite Amadora players arguing that the ball had not crossed the line. The visitors, who began the game without a win in seven matches and with players complaining over late salary payments, equalized 21 minutes later through Celestino’s penalty. Porto’s draw at its Stadium of the Dragon ended a nine-game winning streak in all competitions and was a blow to their hopes of winning the title for a fourth straight time. The champions struggled against Maritimo’s well-organized defense, which has conceded just one away goal this season and is now unbeaten in nine games.

■SCOTLAND

Celtic stay four points clear

Celtic won 3-0 at Falkirk on Sunday to stay four points ahead at the top of the Scottish Premier League. Georgios Samaras, Koki Mizuno and Scott McDonald scored second-half goals at the Falkirk Stadium for a victory that makes sure Rangers can’t catch the Hoops when the Old Firm meet next weekend at Ibrox.

■SPAIN

Real confirm Diarra move

Portsmouth midfielder Lassana Diarra’s move to Real Madrid, which was largely agreed to in midweek, has been officially confirmed, the Spanish club said on Sunday. Portsmouth had said on Wednesday they had accepted a substantial offer from Real to buy the 23-year-old Frenchman, though Spain’s sporting press said wage negotiations had held up the sealing of the deal. Radio Cadena Ser reported Diarra had moved for 20 million euros (US$28 million) on a four-season contract.

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