Kalithea 0-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, Basketball, football, Football League, Handball with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on March 29, 2015 by alexaek

A fairly routine win for AEK against mid-table Kalithea, though an important one none the less as we look to seal as many points for the playoffs as possible. Reviews for the players with Dounis, Chrisantus, Anakoglou, Vouras, and Johansson given particularly high ratings by AEK365, while pretty much our entire defense of Rovas, Kolovetsios, Sarris, and Soleidis gave what were considered to be pretty weak performances.

Our two scorers were Dounis, who opened the scoring in the 30th minute with a well placed shot, and Chrisantus, scoring his first goal for AEK with another well placed shot. VP for the match was once again Johansson, a player who is constantly impressing everyone with how solid he is in the middle of the pitch.

The win, our 21st of the season, as brought us up to 62 points with second place Panachaiki on a relatively low 46. I haven’t seen a playoff table for sure but I believe as Nick mentioned in my previous post, that today’s win got us back the point we had lost from our penalty.

In addition to our football team’s comfortable win, our basketball team had their own win today, one which was both entertaining and impressive. The win, a 93-77 win over fourth placed Aris, extremely important as far as our chances of finishing in the top four are considered, and our performance today certainly showed signs of a team worthy of a top four finish. Our three pointers, as can be seen from the video below, were very accurate today, and it seemed like all players were having a good day.

Today’s win puts us just one point behind Aris, with 35 points. While the top two is certainly out of our reach at the moment, we now also sit only two points behind PAOK, with our rivals from the north currently on 37 points.

Speaking of PAOK, we played them today for the Handball Cup Final, a match-up which we’ve seen before in recent years. Unfortunately we weren’t as lucky as in previous Cup finals as the match, which saw some incidents involving AEK supporters and riot police, ended in a close 29-27 victory for PAOK.

Good and Bad News Today

Posted in AEK, Nea Filadelfia with tags , , , on March 27, 2015 by alexaek

I suppose I’ll start off with the bad for now. Our punishment for the events that took place towards the end of our match with Olympiakos was announced, and essentially it comes down to a fine (I believe somewhere around 15,000 euros but I could be quite a ways off with that) and a three point deduction. The three point deduction is unfortunate, but I feel like it could have been worse. Thankfully the impact is minimal since we have such a huge lead, and according to one article I read it should only end up meaning a point less for us come playoff time. I remember reading an article a couple weeks ago which suggested the point deduction might take effect next season, which I feel would have been a much bigger blow to us, so in a way I’m somewhat relieved by this.

The good news for today is that we have taken some huge steps forward with regards to the stadium. The StE, which I believe refers to the Council of State, has from what I understand granted us permission for our plans for the stadium. I could be wrong regarding what specifically the announcement from the council said, but the impression I got was that this was a huge victory for the team. I’m not sure if this essentially eliminates the hurdles we were facing from the municipality of Nea Filadelfeia, but I’m hoping either way we can see some sort of start to the construction one way or another!

Iraklis Psachnon 1-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, Football League, Playoffs with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 19, 2015 by alexaek

I only managed to watch the game from the 30 minute mark on, though from what I saw it seemed like the win never really was in doubt. It didn’t seem like we played the best we could have, though I get the feeling the players didn’t really feel much pressure throughout the match. The possession was almost 70 % in AEK’s favour, and though Iraklis had some dangerous moments, they were hardly able to apply pressure when not in possession.

Aravidis was unsurprisingly one of our best players, scoring two wonderful goals and coming awfully close to completing another hatrick when he hit the post in the 80th minute. Zoric was our other scorer, making it two games in a row where he has now scored.

Anestis had a reassuringly decent game, making a few good saves and blocking a penalty shot, though I felt like he could have handled the play leading to the penalty in a better way. Sure the play was threatening, though had he closed down the angle and forced the Iraklis player further wide, he would have had a decent chance of saving the shot.

I felt like Barbossa had another disappointing game, reminding me somewhat of when Scocco would have spells where he was far from spectacular. Unfortunately though, even when Barbossa does have a good game he never comes close to the levels Scocco would reach, and I’m starting to get a bit annoyed by this. Hes definitely a solid player when he wants to be, but he has to start proving himself a little more if he wants to keep being a part of the team come next weekend. Afterall, its not as if there is a shortage of players who would give anything to have the chance to prove themselves in his position.

After today’s and yesterday’s game, we are now a more than comfortable 14 points ahead of second placed Panachaiki, which means that if the playoffs were to start with the teams being in their current positions, AEK would start with 8 points. Reassuring of course, though Iraklis (Iraklis from Thesaloniki, not Iraklis Psachnon) would also start with 8 points. The third through sixth teams in the playoff behind AEK and Iraklis would be Panachaiki, Apolon, Olympiakos Volou, and Lamia.

Fostiras 1-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, Basketball, football, Soccer with tags , , , , on March 15, 2015 by alexaek

Today’s match didn’t get off to the most comfortable start, with Fostiras taking an early lead. It didn’t take all that long though for AEK to even score and eventually get a fairly straightforward win.

Our first scorer was Johansson, scoring off of an Aravidis cross. I’m happy to see him score a goal considering his performance so far this season has been consistently promising, but I’m also happy to see Aravidis provide some quality balls into the box. I know we all love seeing Aravidis as a scorer, but with Mantalos gone we’ll need someone else to provide the longs balls in and Aravidis certainly seems to be up for that role.

Our second goal was scored by Platellas while Zoric scored the third, a beautifully taken shot from a difficult position and an even more difficult angle. Aside from our three scorers, the rest of the team also had a good day on the pitch, and though I didn’t get to watch the whole match, it looked like Chrisantus in particular was quite active. He still has yet to score a goal, but he was always pushing forward, moving the ball around nicely, and creating as well as participating in a number of chances. He definitely has some speed and good ball control, and he seems like the kind of player who will compliment our main goal scorers quite nicely.

Our keeper today was Vouras, and he had a good game from what I read, though really he didn’t have all that much to do. We did concede a goal though there wasn’t that much he could do on the play and the blame really lies on the defense. Aside from that, he made an impressive save later on after a well taken shot by a Fostiras player.

Our basketball team also had a good day, winning 97-73 against Kifissia and managing to remain in the top 5 of the league.

Mantalos Out For Season

Posted in AEK, Injuries with tags , on March 13, 2015 by alexaek

As if the result of our match a couple days ago wasn’t bad enough, its been announced that Mantalos will be out for at least the rest of the season. Bad news to say the least, but theres certainly no point in rushing him back and increasing the risk of further injury at this point.

I suppose now would be as good a time as any for Dellas to see who else could take his position. It won’t be easy considering our instrumental Mantalos has been in not only creating goals, but also scoring them.

AEK 0-1 Olympiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer with tags , , , on March 11, 2015 by alexaek

How close can it get. We were two minutes away from booking our place in the semi finals, in front of over 65,000 peaceful and well behaved AEK supporters, when it all ended.

I’m not sure how to feel right now to be honest. There’s some dissapointment, anger, pride, I guess a bit of everything. On the one hand, I want to focus on the positives, but I can’t help but dwell on the fact that we were so close to one of the greatest moments of the past three years for us. After all that we’ve been through, nothing could be more indicitave of the progres we’ve made and how well we’ve turned things around, than winning a Cup as a second division team.

The game started off fairly slowly, with both teams taking a while to settle into some sort of rythm. Olympiakos seemed to be controlling pressure early on, but it was clear their creativity in front of our net was lacking, and they were having a hard time coping with the pressure we were applying high up. Just as with the first match in Karaiskaki, it was AEK who were the only team making something of the possesion when they had it.

Eventually the chances started coming, with Aravidis and Mantalos both coming agonizingly close before the first half ended. Nonetheless, after the first 45 minutes the score was 0-0, and it started to seem like AEK were settling for the draw which would take them to the next round.

The second half started comfirming my fears further of AEK settling for a draw. We were defending well, and still moving the ball, but we began applying pressure deeper into our own territory, and were soaking up Olympiakos’ chances as they came.

Fortunately for us, our defence was almost flawless today. We were organized and solid, with Johansson in particular coming back often to stop any attacks before they could develop too much. Unfortunately for us though, there was only so much they could take before they would crack, and they finally did in the 89th minute with Jara taking advantage of some sloppy defending on our part and scoring an equally sloppy goal.

At that point, it all fell apart. The moment Olympiakos scored their goal, a number of people invaded the area surrounding the pitch and came close to getting their hands on some Olympiakos players, even managing to throw some flares inches away from them. Of course, Olympiakos’ players ran into the lockers immediately and from then on never appeared again on the pitch. AEK’s players remained, waiting anxiously for some sort of announcement, an announcement which ultimately never came.

The whole thing is a shame really. With a crowd of almost 70,000 fans, the entire match was peaceful until that last moment, and even then it was only a handful who ruined it for the rest of us. I don’t even know if they were AEK fans, or who they were, but it was clear whoever it was, they were waiting for that moment to make it onto the pitch.

Its safe to say we all have a right to be disappointed. We could have won the last game, we came close to winning this one, and for much of both matches we were the better team.

On the other hand, we all have a right to be proud too. Its clear to everyone who has been following the team that we are headed in the right direction. If you told an Olympiakos fan that it would take a lucky 89th minute goal to get past a second division AEK, they would have likely laughed in your face. Through all this, AEK, its management, and its supporters have proven to the rest of Greece that they will be back strong and ready come next season.

There has been talk on the refereeing from tonight’s match, and rightfully so. Olympiakos’ players went down awfully easily, and we had a couple non existent offside calls made against us. However, is there really a point in commenting on the refereeing? We can talk all we want about change, but its pretty apparent that things will never change, particularly when certain teams are involved..

Instead, I’d like to focus on some of the positive aspects we can take away from tonight’s game:

As always, I look forward to your comments!

AEK 4-0 Ermionidas

Posted in AEK, Football League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 9, 2015 by alexaek

Apologies for the delay getting this post up.

Our win on Saturday was a comfortable one for AEK, something that was a bit of a relief to hear considering Ermionidas were the first team we didn’t manage to beat in the league.

Our four goals were scored by four different scorers with Anakoglou scoring the first goal followed by Dounis, Aravidis, and D’Acol. It was nice to see Aravidis on the scoresheet (he has scored an impressive 13 goals in 13 games) as well as D’Acol. D’Acol’s game yesterday was his first in months since he was injured, so for him to get a goal on his return can only help boost his confidence.

Aside from scoring four goals during the match, we also dominated possession with 64%, while also being by the far the more active team in front of goal with 24 shots compared to 6 for Ermionidas. Our starting keeper for the match was Ilias Vouras while Anestis was on the bench for the game. I assume this was to give him a rest which makes sense, seeing as I can’t actually remember a game where he wasn’t our starting keeper.

I noticed just now that Soleidis was not featured in our starting 11 or on our bench, which worried me for a second. However, I looked at the squad who will be in OAKA for our game against Olympiakos, and Soleidis is indeed listed. I’ve been quite impressed with him so far this season so its certainly a bit of a relief to know he isn’t injured.

Speaking of our game against Olympiakos, its been announced that there are just about 5,000 tickets left for the match. Regardless of whether or not those remaining tickets all sell (which I believe they will), its guaranteed that the crowd in OAKA come Wednesday is going to be awfully impressive.

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