|Giovanni gives Greeks win|
Olympiakos Piraeus FC went clear into second place in UEFA Champions League Group C after a comfortable 2-0 win over SC Heerenveen at the Spiros Louis Stadium in Athens. Brazilian star Giovanni Silva de Oliveira struck twice to send the Dutch club tumbling to a third consecutive defeat in this First Group-Match Stage.
Going into Matchday Three, Olympiakos coach Ioannis Matzourakis had demanded an extra push from his players as they bid to transpose their domestic dominance onto the European scene. And once Giovanni had opened the scoring on 52 minutes, the Greek champions never looked under threat.
First the 28-year-old gave the nod to Luciano De Souza's right-wing cross for his second goal in the competition this season. Then, on 69 minutes, he doubled up for the evening with another header - this time from a Pär Johan Zetterberg corner.
Zetterberg was one of the game's central performers. The Sweden international asked questions of the Heerenveen rearguard with his driving runs from midfield. Combining well with Peter Ofori Quaye and
Pedrag Djordjevic, he could have put the home side ahead on 10 minutes, but shot wide of Hans Vonk.
Despite the trickery of a central unit in which José Elias Junior Moedim - 'Zé Elias' - and Luciano De Souza were also outstanding, Olympiakos were unable to find a way through in the opening period. With Johan Hansma proving a superb marshal of Foppe de Haan's team, Heerenveen were within touching distance of a first UEFA Champions League point at half-time.
More than that, they could even have stolen the lead on 34 minutes when Finnish ace Mika Nurmela cut inside Grigorios Georgatos, only to be denied by Dimitrios Eleftheropoulos.
As it was, the unheralded Abe Lenstra club were then swept away by their hosts in a one-sided second half. The sight of Hansma trudging over to the touchline to receive treatment for a bloody nose reflected the desperate nature of his team's defending.
At that stage, they were on the ropes. Luciano had a claim for a penalty turned down shortly before the hour-mark after his shot deflected off the arms of Gerard De Nooijer; then Ofori Quaye's effort was kept out by the reflexes of Vonk.
However, it was left to man-of-the-match Giovanni to provide the knockout blow.