Panathinaikos win violence-marred Greek Cup final

26 April 2014 07:31

Swedish striker Marcus Berg scored a hat trick and Nikos Karelis added another goal to lead Panathinaikos to a 4-1 violence-hit Greek Cup final victory over PAOK Saturday.

PAOK's lone goal was scored in the second half by Serbian midfielder Zvonimir Vukic via the penalty spot in a game that was briefly halted when a firecracker was thrown onto the pitch.

Before the match Panathinaikos supporters threw broken plastic seats at riot police on the pitch and flares, firecrackers and other objects were thrown between supporters.

Police used tear gas to bring order and the presidents of both clubs, Giannis Alafouzos of Panathinaikos and Ivan Savvidis of PAOK, pleaded to fans from the stadium's loudspeakers for calm.

Outside the stadium a police car was destroyed by a firebomb thrown by a motorbike rider.

One coach carrying PAOK supporters was attacked with rocks by Panathinaikos fans causing minor damage to the vehicle.

A large section of Athens Olympic Stadium was left empty to separate the two groups of supporters while a police helicopter kept a watch from above.

A large banner placed by PAOK fans with the title "The greatest movement of drugs in Greece," was confiscated by stadium authorities on order of a public prosecutor at the venue.

The banner was in reference to the 22,000 PAOK supporters who made the long journey from the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki to Athens, a seven-hour drive, most on board 350 coaches.

Police announced that 34 people were arrested throughout Athens on Saturday, most for possession of fireworks, sticks or narcotics.

Police also arrested the two owners of a PAOK supporters' clubhouse in the centre of Athens after confiscating fireworks, iron bars, bottles filled with petrol, knives and baseball bats.

Some 4,000 police officers were deployed to keep the peace in the Greek capital for the match.

Berg opened the scoring in the 15th minute for Panathinaikos with a rebound shot after his header from a corner taken by Spanish defender Nano was reflected off the back of PAOK Argentine defender Juan Insaurralde.

PAOK striker Dimitris Salpingidis, a member of the Greek national team, hit the crossbar with a header in the 37th minute as the main threat in the first half for the Thessaloniki squad.

In the 50th minute Berg added his second after a mixup in the PAOK defence when teammate Giorgos Koutroubis stole the ball and provided him the assist.

Four minutes later Panathinaikos took a 3-0 edge with Nano's corner kick finding the head of Karelis.

In the 66th minute a Panathinaikos fan threw a firecracker at the feet of PAOK Slovakian midfielder Miroslav Stoch and referee Anastasios Kakos temporarily halted the game, warning that if another object was thrown he would call off the contest.

PAOK's goal came in the 70th minute by Vukic after Panathinaikos' Algerian midfielder Mehdi Abeid brought down Brazilian defender Lino in the box.

Berg scored his third in the 88th minute after dribbling past two PAOK defenders.

Source: AFP