Panthrakikos 1-2 AEK
Seven games undefeated since January and we don’t look like slowing down any time soon.
Despite the recent court decision to ban all organized away fans in Greece 1,000 AEK fans we’re in the stadium of Komotini cheering on the boys louder than ever! Nothing will get in the way of AEK supporters. You gotta love it.
Well, as for the game, I honestly didn’t know what to expect. Not only do you never know what can happen with this AEK team (despite our recent run of good form) but Panthrakikos had just won two games in a row (including a 2-0 victory away against Aris!) after failing to win a single match all season long.
We traveled north with a few key players out due to injury. Djebbour, Manduca, Kafes, Araujo, Nemeth (obviously) and Arabatzis were all our for this match. This meant we had to start with Saja, Georgeas, Majstorovic, Geraldo, Karabelas, Jahic, Makos, Scocco, Leonardo, Hersi, and Blanco.
Saja was, thankfully, quite reliable between the posts. The same cannot be said for our defense, unfortunately. We saw a number of weaknesses and had trouble resisting the pressure from Panthrakikos. Luckily for us, Panthrax were nothing special up front and only managed to get one goal.
Makos, I am pleased to say, didn’t play his worst game yet! His performance was certainly nowhere near spectacular but we’ve seen worse…. lets leave it at that. Jahic, who missed a couple of games because of cards, seemed more intent on playing offensively rather than helping out with the defensive duties. Though I didn’t see much of him, except a couple of shots (the guy certainly likes to shoot whenever he gets the chance), many times players like Scocco were forced to come back and help out, possibly where Jahic should have been.
Scocco is…. well, just watch his goal below:
The Argentine can split any defense whenever he wants, simple as that. Though I can never trust a player who may leave at any time, he is an integral part of this team when he wants to be.
Leonardo played a decent game but I personally didn’t see him play as big a role as Scocco. He’s a good player but cannot yet hold on to the ball the way Scocco can.
Hersi played a very good game. Aside from scoring the second goal he was involved constantly with our attacks from the right side.
Blanco had a number of chances and worked well with Scocco today. Shame he didn’t score, but I believe we will start seeing some more goals from him in the upcoming matches.
Generally, we controlled the game, especially the first half (the final ten minutes of the match were tense though). Despite poor pitch conditions, we managed to move the ball around well, runs were timed well, we were creating space. However, when it came time to score it seemed the players decided the effort required would be too much! We had a number of superb chances yet failed to score as many as we should have. Many the players confidence mixed in the knowledge that they were playing the lowest ranked team had an effect psychologically on the players. Hopefully we will see more concentration in front of the goal when we play Aris next weekend.
So, right now we are guaranteed to stay in the top four for at least another week. We currently sit four points ahead of Aris with 36 points (which means if the playoffs were to start now we would have 1 point). Aris still have to play tomorrow so the lead could be cut down to one point by tomorrow evening, though Aris play a tough match against Ergotelis away. Aris’ poor form plus Ergotelis’ incredible win last weekend against Tripolis (a fantastic match that was!) means its quite likely that Aris may leave Crete with one or no points tomorrow.
AEK handball won yet another derby over Veria after last weeks fantastic win against league leaders PAOK. Maybe it can be an even better weekend if AEK’s two game winning streak in Basketball can be extended with an away win against Peristeri tomorrow. Let’s all hope!