AEK finished their final friendly with a victory after going down 0-1 in the first half. The starting lineupfor AEK’s final game before the critical match against Omonia included Jurgen Macho and Edinho, both of whom have not played with team for quite a while now.
The game overall was a definate imprpovement over past games, and it was played with a quick pace at times. Rivaldo had showed some quick bursts of speed which have not been seen for a while and his corners and free kicks are starting to show some improvement. Alexopoulos was solid for the most part as usual, and many of the youngters who played today such as Pliatsikas,Pavlis,Zorbas, and Koutromanos all showed some promising displays of football at times. Pavlis came close to scoring but was not able to make contact with the ball when it came in front of him before an open net. Blanco, who is starting more of the life we saw last year as each game passeshad a few chances to score as well but was not able to get any into the net. Nsaliwa, still trying to impress Donis played a better game. He seemed to be more in control and was starting to make smarter passes at times.
At the beginning of the second half, Sotiris Kyrgkiakos, who just the night before played in Slovakia for the Greek National Team, made his first appearance with the team (Angellos Basinas has yet to appear). It was the solid performance many were expecting, especially when it came to getting the headers. Panagiotis Lagos and Nikos Georgeas also came in during the second half and the pair worked great together. They both showed great speed and passing and Georgeas’ defending skills were on par. Lagos had a clear chance to shoot but passed instead. The ball ended up at Socco’s feet and the Argentinian (who, as usual, had a great performance) comfortably put the ball in the back of the net to make the score 1-1.
The second goal was a header scored by Kone off of a cross from Ramos (the Brazillian had a decent performance, but wasn’t running with the ball as much as normal, and wasn’t as active as normal either). The scoreline remained at 2-1 untill the ref blew the final whistle. Both goals for AEK were scored in the last thrity minutes.
Overall, the team showed a improvement, but will still have to kick it up a notch higher if they are to leave Cyprus with a favorable result against Omonia.