AEK In The Semi-Finals!

We made it much more difficult for us than we needed to but, thanks for Michel’s last second GOLARA,  AEK are through to the semi-finals!

I’ll admit that I did miss the second half due to this lovely snowstorm we had today in Ontario and the shoveling which was required, but I managed to catch the first even though it wasn’t all good news. Lagos got us off to a great start by scoring on the 12 minute mark, allowing us to further strengthen our advantage. One would think that at this point, with a 3-0 aggregate lead, we would practically be through, correct?

Not so… Nine minutes later, Cisse headed home a pass off of a cross to even the score up at 1-1…. No worries, we still have a two goal lead with two away goals. Again not so as Gilberto managed to put PAO in the lead with a fantastic shot, one which saw the ball find its way through a tightly packed defense just before halftime.

Half time came and it was then that I had to leave… however my confidence had sunk considerably by  that point. PAO were pressuring it was obvious that we would need to lift things up a bit if we wanted to ensure our progress to the next round. After all, we still had a one goal lead and only one more goal would have all but sealed the deal.

Midway through the second period I took a break and checked the score… I couldn’t believe it, but PAO had managed to get in a third to put the score of the match at 1-3, a score which would been good enough to put them through! If our players didn’t feel the urgency before then I certainly hope they felt it after.

From what I read it sounds as those we finally began applying some more pressure as the second half progressed, but I may be wrong. A highlights clip I saw did show us coming close on a couple of chances including a nice shot from Diop.

The time we had left began to decrease quickly and I became less and less confident we could get the result we needed based on the score… however what I didn’t know at the time was that a pitch invasion by a few of our fans lead to an additional seven minutes being added on at the end, a seven (eight by the end apparently due to time wasting) minute span which gave us the chance we needed to score the goal. Some inspiration from Michel and a slip up by the PAO keeper were enough to clinch us qualification to the next round.

Seeing as I missed the second half all comments would be appreciated.

All in all, despite the tension of this match and all its ups (Lagos’ early goal, Michel’s brilliant strike) and downs (going down 3-1), it was a brilliant result and one which puts us even closer to winning some silverware! Our team, and even more importantly, us fans, deserve to see us win something after having Championships and Cup finals ripped from our hands. I also can’t wait to see Libe finally raise a trophy with AEK!

Michel’s goal:

Also, a match report can be viewed here


10 Responses to “AEK In The Semi-Finals!”

  1. tiberious Says:

    Fantastic result and the Cherry is PAOK winning also. 🙂

  2. Chris Zap Says:

    Great win for PAOK, a huge punishment for Oly. This proves that Oly doesn not have the team, the depth to win a big game. They have yet to win a derby. Not problems against weaker teams, especially against their sister team Oly Volou and with the help of the refs but when it comes to the big teams, they are NOTHING. And those are not just my comments, look at the gavro headline papers, listen to the radio, thats what they been saying, even challenging their favourite coach, Ernesto.

    Now, as for us. What can i say. I have no voice this AM. We the fans had given up, some left at the 80, others took it upon themselves to enter the pitch and talk some sense to the players. Baha came in and looked very promising. He took some nice shots and from where we were sitting had thought the ball went in. We were pressuring, while they were wasting time. Even Saja came up a few times to assist. Then Mitchel took that finall last shot. It was like watching a movie where its a second left, its a basketball game, final second, buddy has nothing to lose, takes one long throw from one end to the other and he gets the basket.

    The stadium went berseck. A lot of fans had stopped their exit and turned back. It was pandomonium, we were all hugging each other, i had no idea who the heck i was hugging since my neighbours had left already. Also the fanatical fans lost it. You can tell they were ready for war, they were ready to jump on the pitch and take up a fight with the players, but instead they jumped on the pitch as if we had won the cup. They hugged the players, took their jerseys, tore down the nets, had a few fights with the police of course, lots of teargas, they even beat up one cop, there were 14 injuries. So, needless to say, god knows how much we are going to get penalised. One game, two games? Lots of euros which we dont have. Its a shame these stoned losers are now going to deny me seen a game or two. Just like 30 losers did to 30K PAOK fans.

    There is a lot of talk today about the ref, how he shouldnt have kicked Vyntra out etc. Vyntra should have been kicked out at the ’33 and Leto as well. Nice to see our team get a break for a change, there is a god after all. Nice seen the “paraga” teams out of cup play. Sise is going to get penalised for what he said during the press coverage, “i feel like I got *&^%ed”. Jimenez gave a good press coverage after the game, he said how tonight god was AEK. How he enjoyed this game more cause he suffered, and the pleasure is sweet after a bit of suffering. Something like that, my translation is not perfect.
    After the game while i walked to the car (mass transit was on strike), there were horns blaring. I tell you, it felt like we won the cup. Athens will go nuts when we win the cup.

    • Makes you wonder how Oly manage to get so high in the standings yet always fail against tough opponents…. Hmmmm.

      I can’t wait to see us lift the cup! After what happened two seasons ago it will be even sweeter!!

      Also, good to hear about Baha!

  3. Thanks Alex and Chris,love reading the good parts,unfortunately,you not being able to watch the game because of a few louts disappointments me.And like you said,it’s not like we’re flushed with funds to pay fines.
    On the other hand,I can’t stop singing.We’ll win this cup,we should have won it 2 years ago,but Manolo will do the job for us.Great tactician,even if he hasn’t got the right players at his disposal.
    Re the game,we didn’t play that well at all.Having said that,the refereeing was atrocious,Pao getting every single,not only 50/50,but even with clean tackles the ref was finding fouls that didn’t exist for them,and this disrupted our going forward.Two man of the match awards today,Papa Boupa outstanding defensive midfield work and Saja,once again our savior.The rest were weak to average,bar Libe who tries his heart out every game.
    Baja looks like a great prospect,nice touches and looked dangerous in only his 1 st game.Michel when he came on struggled to find his rhythm,but found the target at the end from 45 meters out,best over hit free kick we will ever see….and we found our voices.A great night/morning for us here in Australia.I can only imagine how Philadelphia will be on fire when ‘Libe’ sikosies the cup!It’s our destiny!!!

    • Really good to hear about Baja! I wonder if there’s any chance we can sign either Baja or Michel after their loans… Mateo though I highly doubt. I had a good feeling, though I dont know why, about the Baja signing.

      Saja indeed saved us from what I saw.

  4. Unbelievable finish. Wish they hadn’t gotten into that spot, but that kick was incredible. Now I hope they finish the job.

  5. Chris Zap Says:

    Did you see the commentary in Spain, they want Michell back. I forgot to mention that the only disapointment with Oly not advancing, is that we will not see Djebour at OAKA this year. What a shame. Btw, where i live here in Kifissia, i have a bakery/coffee shop next door to me. Infact from my back yard i can touch its wall. The owner, Dinmitri, told me that Scocco and Burns were in there today having coffee. They must leave around here. Across the bakery is a hair salon where i get my haircut, the ladies told me that they work on Blanco’s wife and Araujo used to go there.
    Blanco was on the game program yest, i hope we keep him.

    • Chris Zap Says:

      and one more comment regarding the thugs that caused all the problems. I was listening to the AEK report tonight on the radio. The reporter was sitting close to Adamidis. He said Stavros lifted his arms in the air when he saw what was happening on the pitch after the game. He told him they have basically given up, will take the fine and pay it without a fight. The violence is beyond control, its getting really bad. Almost every weekend there is an incident, the thugs know they will get away with it, no one gets arrested, no one gets charged. There was even tear gas before the game, as soon as i got to my seat i felt it and started coughing. They did something similar to the AEK basketball team, a loser threw a flare on the parquet during the AEK vs Oly game. Of course now the team will get punished from 2 to 4 games without fans. This will basically destroy the team, they need every penny they can get. They wanted the individual to be bought forward but of course the other fans are protecting him.

  6. the cops are so retarded, i was sitting there at gate 1. everyone was running on the pitch to celebrate but then they show up for no reason at all. I am tired of these cops always spraying tear gas, its very painful experience and i can see why they want to beat the shit out of them

  7. Chris Zap Says:

    Alex and I were at Katzatzogleio sitting at the “petalo” with the AEK fans that came from the region, something like 14 bus loads full. There was police presence back there, mainly to protect us from the Irakli fans. The cops put up with constant verbal abuse and provocation by some of our fans, they stood there and took it. I agree some times their presence is enough to start a fight, but you can tell our fans were ready to destroy the team that night. If it wasnt for that goal, can you imagine what would have happened? If they hide, than every one will blame the state and the police for not been there. If they are there, the fans start throwing stuff at them. Adrenalines are pumping, there will be war from both sides. I heard on the radio today that 7 have been arrested, 2 with possesion of narcotics.
    Reporters on teh radio today were saying why are they not using dogs like in every other civilised European country. They are extremely effective. But like the reporters were saying, this fighing serves a political purpose, the politicians like seeing that the peoples minds and angers are expressed at the staiums and away from them, so why would they want to stop it?
    Last night they were ready for more clashes on Alexandra’s Ave between our guys and PAO fans. Three bus loads of cops got in between them and separated them before anything started. A molotov coctail was thrown at a theater for the opening night of a show called, “travelling with PAOK”. They hurt one theater patron and the ticket boy who was wearing white and black. They yelled out “this is Piraeus”, about 20 thugs on bikes i think? Anyways, this violence is stupid as fas as i am concerned.
    I am sure this chemical crap is not the greatest for our health and i have inhaled enough of this shit in my 5th year of attending games. Either get some dogs in there or use water canons.

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