Home joy for Anorthosis
Cypriot side sink Panathinaikos on group stage debut
By Rob Parrish. Last Updated: October 1, 2008 10:20pm
Taher: Late header
Anorthosis Famagusta celebrated their home bow in the UEFA Champions League group stage with a 3-1 victory over Panathinaikos.
Anorthosis, managed by former Newcastle midfielder Temuri Ketsbaia, now have four points from their opening two Group B fixtures having drawn 0-0 away to Werder Bremen on Matchday 1.
But Panathinaikos are facing an early exit from the tournament, with nothing to show for their efforts so far, having already been beaten at home by Inter Milan.
Jose Sarriegi's comical own goal set the home side on their way on Cyprus Independence day, with Sinisa Dobrasinovic doubling their advantage soon after.
Dimitris Salpingidis reduced the arrears from the penalty spot before the interval only for substitute Hawar Taher to make sure of the victory 12 minutes from time to the delight of the GSP Stadium crowd in Nicosia.
Panathinaikos had the first shot of the night when Salpingidis flashed a shot across the face of Arian Beqaj's goal after being released down the right.
The home side then took the lead with their very first attack in the 11th minute thanks to a defensive howler from Sarriegi on his Champions League debut.
A deep throw into the area towards Lukasz Sosin looked simple enough to deal with, only for Sarriegi to make a complete hash of his attempted clearance, beating goalkeeper Mario Galinovic at his near post.
There was further misery for Panathinaikos coach Henk Ten Cate in the 16th minute when a quick free-kick released Savio down the left and his well-flighted cross was superbly headed home by a soaring Dobrasinovic.
The comical defending continued before the half-hour mark was reached, with Ketsbaia the manager left cursing on this occasion.
Panathinaikos attacked down the right, with Jeffrey Leiwakabessy inexplicably sticking out an arm to block Bryce Moon's cross into the area, giving referee Eric Braamhaar no option but to point to the spot.
Leiwakabessy's stupidity also earned him a caution before Salpingidis stepped up and sent Beqaj the wrong way as he rolled the ball home.
Vincent Laban tried his luck with a low shot from distance at the start of the second period, but a confident Galinovic was able to watch the ball roll just wide of his left-hand post.
Former Arsenal midfielder Gilberto then came close to adding his name to the list of defensive blunders when his backpass from outside the box beat his own goalkeeper but floated narrowly wide.
Anorthosis, whose European campaign began at the very first qualification stage, were content to sit back on their lead for long periods.
But on a rare attack in the closing stages they made sure of victory with Savio's superb corner headed down into the ground and beyond Galinovic by Iraq's Taher.
|Anorthosis Famagusta||Team Statistics||Panathinaikos|
|2||1st Half Goals||1|
|3||Shots on Target||1|
|1||Shots off Target||4|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 1st Oct - Group C
Sporting2 - 0Basel
Shak Donetsk1 - 2Barcelona
Wed 1st Oct - Group A
Cluj0 - 0Chelsea
Bordeaux1 - 3Roma
Wed 1st Oct - Group D
Liverpool3 - 1PSV
A Madrid2 - 1Marseille
Wed 1st Oct - Group B
Anorthosis Fama3 - 1Panathinaikos
Inter1 - 1W Bremen
UEFA Champions League Group A
|1||Paris St Germain||6||15|
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H