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Panathinaikos, Atromitos Athens and Asteras Tripolis Results in Europe

Three out of the five football clubs that will be representing Greece in the European cups next year (PAOK Thessaloniki and Olympiacos being the other two) started their journey in the preliminary rounds of their respective tournaments. FIghting for a Champions League Playoff spot, Panathinaikos obtained a significant 0-0 draw against Standard de Liege on Wednesday, while for the Europa League Playoffs, Atromitos of Athens beat Sarajevo in Bosnia’s capital 2-1 and Asteras of Tripoli lost to Mainz 0-1 in Germany.
Standard de Liege – Panathinaikos 0-0 94219C1925E3F60BB75B8F8CAF4D9301 Being the first game of the season, the Greens found it hard to follow any tactics and the first half saw them mostly chasing the ball and defending their ground. In the 2nd half, Panathinaikos was transformed and missed one chance after another, unable though to put the ball in the net. They definitely deserved a better result, but a 0-0 draw away gives the Athenian club the upper hand for next week’s game in the Leoforos ground. Sarajevo – Atromitos 1-2 ÁÔÑÏÌÇÔÏÓ 2014-2015  ÓÁÑÁÃÅÂÏ - ÁÔÑÏÌÇÔÏÓ  (EUROPA LEAGUE 2014-2015) Atromitos proved they were the favorites against Sarajevo by dominating in most parts of the game and putting the ball past the goal line twice while conceding it just once. It was 30-year-old Sokratis Fytanidis who broke the ice by heading Pitu Garcia’s corner into the net before Buzigatsa of Serajevo equalized (1-1) with a shot that first hit a defender and then the goalpost. In the 2nd half, MVP Vaggelis Nastos received the ball from Tatos, who had just stepped in the game and pushed the team to its potential, slammed the ball in the right top corner with a beautifully curved shot and regained the lead. Atromitos just need to sustain this result in next Thursday’s game to secure their position in the Europa League playoffs.
Mainz – Asteras Tripolis 1-0 Ja-Cheol-Alemania-Brain-Asteras-Tripolis_ALDIMA20140731_0013_3 Lastly, Asteras Tripolis, who was facing Stefano Kapino‘s (he sat on the bench) new team, Mainz, stepped in the game certain it could grab an away win but missed two great chances, first with Masa’s shot to the crossbar and then when De Blasis missed from two feet away. The Germans got the lead with Okazaki in the 45th minute, a result which leaves the Arcadians with a difficult task back in Greece on Thursday. In fairness, since the Greek league hasn’t started yet and most of the players are still getting to know each other, the results that came our way were not dissatisfying. If all three teams stay cautious we might be lucky and have them all represent us in Europe till late December (when the group stage matches end). That will help Greece advance in the UEFA rankings and hopefully move into 12th place (currently 13th behind Turkey and above Czech Republic)

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