AEK 0-2 Boca Juniors
So, we lost this one but it was not at all a bad performance by our team, and was definately the best game we’ve seen AEK play all pre-season. First of all, goal highlights.
Unfortunately I haven’t seen a video with more highlights uploaded yet, but we had many chances, just as many if not more than Boca.
Boca started the game strong and pressured quite a bit but after a while AEK seemed to gain more and more control to the point where at times we were by far the more dominant team. That balance shifted from time to time, with Boca pressuring for an extended period of time before AEK began controlling things once again. Considering that this is Boca Juniors (with the likes or Riquelme and Palermo), we should be very pleased with how well we managed to play against them. At times we played some beautiful football and the team really seemed to play smoothly together for the most part (I was not impressed however, with Djebbour) with some fancy ball control and enjoyable one touch football in the Boca box.
Our defence still showed that there is room for improvement. Krgiakos was excellent and controlled every ball in the air. Majstorovic was also quite solid. Unfortunately though, Karabelas still isn’t showing too much promise. Koutromanos played better but still, the same applies with him, basically there is room for improvement. Georgeas showed how much extra experience helps after playing some smart football when he came on as a sub but we can’t rely on him to play every game of the season, and we can still get a better right back than him. He is, however, great to have as a sub.
One pleasant surprise was that Leonardo played. Considering he has probably only had a few practises with team he played alright. It must be tough playing your first game with a team you are not used to against Boca Juniors. Everyone is talking about how he has shown alot of promise at practises and I am confident he will turn out to be a great singing for the team. We should most likely see him play against Mallorca next week as well.
Scocco showed some moments of great football and whenever he had the ball he did something good (at least from what I could see, even though the view from where I was sitting wasn’t the greatest for this match). Bajevic was apparently switching Manduca, Scocco, and Leonardo, around to see where each played best (either left, right or center), but Im sure he will need more than one match to figure that out.
Generally, most of the players that played at the Panionios match got some playing time. Of everyone who played (other than those already mentioned) Manduca also had a good game.
The crowd was small (I believe around 14,000) as it is the time of year when most people leave Athens and the city bcomes almost empty (in comparison to the rest of the year). Still, the crowd support was good, considering some people thought there might have been trouble due to the lack of singings. Generally the mood was relaxed and there was no tension in the air at all, compared to last season. This is a good sign to see, and hopefully everything will remain this way for the upcoming season.
Anyone who watched the match from television please post whatever you can in the comments section. I sat behind the net for this match, as I wanted to sit with the Originals, so the view really wasn’t great, epecially when the ball was at the opposite end. I also spent alot of time watching the chanting and jumping around, so I didn’t get to see as much of the match as normal. So any comments or opinios would be greatly appreciated!
Btw, Riquelme said at the end of the match that he had a fabulous time here in Greece and that AEK was a very good team. I certainly thought we played quite well, and am glad to see him thinking the same things.
Next friendly is this Wednesday I believe, against Mallorca. Hopefully we will see even more improvements. Although, if we play like we did today, I think we should be able to get past them, maybe 1-0 or 2-0. Mind you, I haven’t really followed Mallorca at all this summer so they might have really improved during the pre-season.
Also, another note to consider is the fact that Blanco did not play this match. We created many chances but had trouble scoring them (partly due to the fact that when I attended a Boca open practise, the goalkeepers were fantastic) but I believe that when we see Blanco play against Vaslui we should see some of those chances lead to goals. Bajevic decided to save Blanco rather than risk an injury, which I have no problem with.