Archive for May, 2011

PAOK-AEK Live Updates

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 18, 2011 by alexaek

I’ll try to keep some live updates of the match here for those without a way to watch it. From what I know, the three links below will show a stream of the match:

http://aektv.weebly.com/

http://aektv.weebly.com/aektv2.html

http://aektv.weebly.com/aektv1.html

I’ll add more streams if I come across any.

PAO is currently beating Oly Volou 2-0 with about twenty minutes to go. I was hoping PAO would lose this one or it would end up in a draw but our fate is still entirely in our hands (the match has now ended with a 3-0 victory for PAO). Either way, tonight will be a huge game.

Our starting XI for the match includes Saja, Georgeas, Manolas, Dellas, Karabellas, Makos, Michel, Diop, Lagos, Scocco, and Blanco. Arabatzis, Nasuti, Mateos, Roger, Leonardo, Dadomo, and Baha are the substitutes.

Game has started. PAOK came close off a free kick about three minutes in.

PAOK seem to have much more control of the game than they did over the weekend so far (only six minutes in).

Great chance for AEK after a defensive error by PAOK but Scocco couldn’t get a good delivery into the box.

GOOOAL! Scocco! 13th minute!! Long rage free kick, tricky bounce in front of Chalkias.

Saja playing risky at the back so far. I hope he tightens up.

Huge chance for PAOK with a critical save by Saja. And another huge chance for AEK in the 22nd. Blanco is in the mood for scoring it seems, hopefully he’ll keep up his good record in Toumba.

Freekick for PAOK in a very dangerous location. 1-1, 28th minute after Garcia’s freekick finds it way under our wall and into the bottom corner of the net.

Flares on the pitch at the 31st minute so the ref has temporarily paused the match. It seems it will continue again.

Good header from Dellas off of a corner in the 33rd, save from Chalkias.

Penalty for PAOK, and goal. 2-1.

Very close chance for AEK off a Blanco header in the 38th minute, ball wasn’t directed well enough.

We are very shaky at the back so far.

Half time, 2-1 for PAOK. Not nearly good enough from us, far too many mistakes. We’ve still managed to create chances, but we must tighten up for the second half.

Nice shot from Michel after being set up by Blanco, just out.

Close for PAOK after a Vierinha shot rebounded off of Georgeas’ foot.

First substitution of the match, Baha on for Lagos. And now Leonardo on for Blanco. And I must say, the diving by the paok players is really getting quite ridiculous.

Red card for Makos.

Third change, Roger on for Scocco. Can’t say Im too happy about this choice.

Red card for Garcia. Disgusting behaviour from him as usual, but this is the worst Ive seen yet from that animal.

2-1, fulltime.

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AEK 3 – paok 0

Posted in AEK on May 15, 2011 by aekman74

AEK took a big step towards qualification for the Champions League last night at the OAKA with a comfortable victory in the 3rd game of the playoffs.Coming off a midweek 1-1 draw against pao(a game in which we could have taken all 3 points).Last nights result leaves us with 8 points,paok 6,pao 4,Oly Volou 3 with 3 games still to play.
Jimenez started the match with Saja,a back four of Georgeas,Dellas,Manolas and Karabelas.The midfield in a diamond formation had Papa Boupa in his customary “defensive role”,Michel and Makos with Kafes at the top,supporting a roving Scocco with Baha up front.
The match was fairly scrappy,a lot of fouls,mainly from paok and this made for a stop start game but when there was action,it was AEK who controlled the tempo,with Michel and Pappa throwing their weight around.As early as the 2nd minute Scocco was put through and his shot hit the post.Dellas opened the scoring in the 21st minute when Scocco’s free kick was flicked on to him by Baha and he calmly placed his header past the advancing Chalkias.It was a pattern that continued throughout the match,all our goals arriving from set plays(free kicks),using our aerial dominance given that players like Dellas,Manolas our Papa are ll well above 6ft.
The only other real chance we had in the 1st half was a Dellas free kick just before the interval which grazed the post.
The 2nd started and it wasn’t long before AEK doubled their advantage.2 min had lapsed when a Scocco free kick from the wide right was met powerfully by Diop.2 nil and cruising.paok had their one and only chance denied in a 1 on 1 by Saja on 55 min and on 68 min AEK wrapped it all up when substitute Gerriero(who had come on for an injured Kafes) floated in another free kick to the back post aiming for Dellas who headed it back across goal which all the paok defenders missed falling to a gleaming Papa,who could not miss.LBy this stage Lagos had replaced a tiring Scocco and Mateos replaced Papa on 80 min who came off to a standing ovation from Adamidis.There was no crowd today as the Greek League has seen fit to punish us for the Cup Final,in which Jimenez quite rightly pointed out,was not our home game.
Our next match is again against paok,this time at Toumba on Wednesday night,where we hold no fears,and another 3 points would just about seal our place in the Champions League.

A Fine Weekend To Be AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 8, 2011 by alexaek

So, just a little over a week after we won our first Cup in so many years (despite the rather depressing events which followed after the match), us AEK fans were treated to yet another pleasing weekend. This time, however, the attention was not only on our football team, but also our Handball guys, a group of players who have fought hard and gave everything they had to offer to the club for the past three years. Saturday afternoon, our players took on PAOK in Thesaloniki, a match which was a must win if they wanted to claim the Championship. And, as is the norm recently, AEK emerged victorious over our rivals from the North. That’s right folks, only six years after our handball club was formed, we, for the first time in our history, are champions of Greece!

I went to wait for the players last night in Nea Filadelfia along with thousands of other AEK supporters and though the bus’ arrival was delayed by AEK fans from all over Greece (almost literally, as the bus had to make numerous stops on its way down so supporters could congratulate the players), the players received a reception that only true Champions deserve! It wasn’t until about 2:30 in the morning that the bus arrived in Filadelfia, along with a caravan of motorcycles and flares from fans who greeted the bus at the tolls outside Athens, but the celebrations were phenomenal. The entire street outside the offices of the Amateur division of AEK which runs the handball club was blocked off by bon fires and thousands of AEK fans who sang non stop for the entire hour or so that I was there after the bus arrived (and they were still singing when I left at 3:30) while the players were on the balcony of the offices with the trophy, joining in the celebrations as well. And I’ll tell everyone reading this post one thing: These players on our handball teams are true AEK supporters, people who love the club as much as we do! I hope they, along with us, will always remember this day, as it was a true celebration of what it means to be AEK!

As for the match itself, it was close, very close. We managed to take a firm lead quite early in the game thanks to some fantastic attacking, however PAOK slowly managed to cut back the lead as the match progressed. Towards the end, however, PAOK actually managed to take the lead, and with only 15 seconds left, they were leading 22-21. However, AEK, who refused to give up, managed to tie the game up at 22-22- with only seven seconds left before the one and only Christoforos Bakaoukas scored the game winning goal to clinch the Championship! I honestly can’t think of a better way to win the championship than by beating PAOK in their own home in such a way. If you watch the video below, you even see the PAOK fans calling their players champions as they were so sure the win was theirs.

So, on to football. We started the game (at the lovely time of 9:45 on a Sunday night) knowing PAOK had beaten PAO 2-1 in Toumba, meaning a win for us would bring us to first place in the playoffs. I’m not sure if this was what the players were thinking, or maybe they were inspired by their cup win last weekend, but they came out strong and seemed intent on showing no mercy to the scum team from Volos. Lovely passing football and complete control of the match was all we saw from AEK from the first 10 minutes or so, with Leonardo playing a very active role in the match from early on. For the most part, our positioning was superb and the players were really gelling well together, with Leonardo forcing the ball into the box with his runs and Michel distributing superbly.

As the game progressed the tempo did drop slightly, though Olympiakos Volou rarely managed to gain much of an upperhand. Having said that, and despite the pressure we were applying, we still urgently needed a goal. Sure, we were playing some attractive football, and the players were clearly doing things right, but in front of the net we were simply not good enough for much of the match. The fact that our only goal of the match came from a penalty is an obvious indicator of this. However, I feel its too early to worry. We were creating chances, we came very close on a number of times and even hit the cross bar on one occasion, and with a bit more confidence and decisiveness in front of goal, we shouldn’t have as much of a hard time scoring in our upcoming matches.

And while I’m on the topic of scoring (or lack of), I feel obliged to bring up a certain player by the name of Nabil Baha. USELESS. He could hardly run after the first half, was clearly not match fit (or possibly just lazy), and missed two clear goalscoring opportunities (opportunities which Blanco would have had no problem scoring). I thank Baha for his goal in the Cup final, but the guy cannot play for us anymore. What Jimenez sees in him I will never know, but I really hope to see Blanco start the next match instead of him.

As for the rest of our players, a handful in my opinion deserve much credit. Dellas, Manolas, Georgeas, Michel, and Diop all played vital roles in our win today. Dellas brings experience to our team that very few players could provide while Manolas alongside him at centre back was simply solid in defending. Georgeas, though he may have been slightly sloppy at times, provided another dimension to our play down the right flank and, as always, defended with passion. Diop was simply solid at the back, providing cover for our defenders and midfielders. Also may have been sloppy and careless at times, but he still manages to hold on to the ball well, win it back when we lose it, and is always moving, always looking to do something, whether it be winning the ball back or providing cover for a player. Michel also provided a vital role today as his ball distribution was by far the best of anyone else today. He may not have played many fancy defense ripping through balls like Rivaldo, but his passes were always calculated and well placed.

Unfortunately, Libe was forced to leave the match as he picked up an injury. I have no idea at the moment how serious it is, or if he will be ready for the next match, however I truly hope we will be match fit by next Thursday as we will definitely be lacking without him up front.

So, not sure what else should be mentioned. First place in the playoffs and it looks like were heading in the right direction if we want to reach Champions League qualification. PAO were simply dreadful in their game with PAOK, so to be honest, I’m kind of looking forward to our game with them on Thursday because I’m confident we can get a win if we play solid.

Its getting late here, so tomorrow I’ll upload some videos and pictures from the celebrations in Nea Filadelfia.

Atromitos 0-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 1, 2011 by alexaek

Alright, so I’m not sure whether I should start with the positives, or the negatives from this match. Either way, I’m sure most of you have read about yesterday’s events by now.

So, the big day had come. For months I had been waiting for it, as I’m certain you all have also, and slowly the hours passed by, one by one, until it was time to finally head off to OAKA for my first time in almost five months. To be honest with you, I can’t remember the last time I was this excited about AEK match, possibly one of the derbies with Olympiakos from last season. Either way, we finally reached the stadium and things were looking good. Two hours before the game and already a very large crowd of AEK fans were there, with many more coming by the minute. Soon enough, both sections started to fill, ours with AEK fans, and the Atromitos one with their own fans who had arrived slower than us since they were forced to make their way to OAKA by organized busses. The atmosphere was fantastic from the start and I was feeling more pumped up than I ever had… however, the incidents began early. First it started with two AEK fans running to the Atromitos section to steal a banner (which they managed to do). Of course, Atromitos supports refused to sit back and let them get away with it, so some of their fans made their way onto the track surrounding the pitch. By this time however, a number of AEK supporters made their way to the Atromitos section and sure if enough some fighting occured, forcing the cops to get involved.

It wasn’t a pretty sight, however, who can say they weren’t expecting it. My father  even said what we saw at the beginning wasn’t even close to what was experienced at AEK-OLY cup final a couple years ago…

Alright, so a few fights, flares (some being shot from flare guns) being thrown by each set of fans, however, eventually, the situation was brought under control and the game was allowed to start. The rest of the match (which I’ll discuss later) went on without too much trouble from what I remember. Sure, a couple minor incidents here and there I may have forgotten about, but before the end, the only incident worth mentioning that I can recall was the stoppage of the match for a few minutes due to flare smoke. Again, this was to be expected, its happened before, and if this was the only thing that happened, I would not have even considered it a big deal. Kakos eventually allowed the match to continue (possibly a little too soon in my opinion as the smoke obviously still managed to cause trouble for our guys in defence), and again, we managed to see some more football without too much trouble.

However, and this where the worst of it all began, towards the end a few fans (I prefer to refer to these guys as hooligans but fans is simply involves less writing) began making their way onto the pitch yet again. Why the cops sat by and let them walk around I do not know. Of course, these few fans were joined by others, and before we knew it, 50, 75, maybe 100 had made their way onto the track without even allowing the match to finish. And, knowing the trouble these guys have caused before (as well as similar thugs from pao, oly, paok, panionios… any team in this country for the most part), its safe to say a handful of them weren’t simply waiting to celebrate. Now, the match was stopped with around 5 or so minutes of extra time left to play, though I can’t remember if riots had started before the match had finished, or Kakos simply felt it wasn’t safe to play with so many fans so near to the pitch (by this time it was considerably above 100 fans, and many were literally on the pitch). So, Kakos blew his whistle, fans stormed the pitch (they were bound to any second now regardless of if Kakos had blown or not), some went to cheer on the players, some attacked police, some attacked Atromitos players, other attacked Atromitos fans, and from what I heard, many were attacking members of the Atromitos vips (though, I didn’t see this from where I was sitting… doesn’t mean it didn’t happen, my attention was just elsewhere at the time). Nobody was really sure if the match was called for fulltime, or if Kakos had intended for the players to return to the pitch to finish the remaining few minutes of extra time… either way, the pitch was no longer able to played on, adverts along the side and camera equipment was destroyed, and the nets had been completely torn off, so eventually the match was finally called, and AEK was awarded the cup…

Yes, we were awarded the cup, but by the end of the match I was in no way pleased or happy with what had happened. Even when we went to Nea Filadelfia after the match to join in with the celebrations, I simply couldn’t. Having said that, I often have to take a step back and consider everything else. Yes, some embarassing events took place, probably the worst I have ever witnessed, but we came a long way to reach this cup final, beating Larissa, PAOK, and PAO on the way here. Our players, especially guys like Georgeas, Dellas, Kafes, others, and, most importantly, LIBE, also deserved this cup. I know we had a terrible season, but some of these players have been with us for a while. Some were with us when our championship was taken away in ’08, others were with us when the Cup which was so close to being ours was snatched from our hands in ’09… nobody deserved some silverware more than some of these players.

And us fans, who have seen our team come so close to winning a trophy many times the past two decades, we also deserved this. But we deserved to enjoy it under better circumstances, without having a few thugs ruin it for the rest of us. I know its hard for me to feel completely satisfied with this Cup, though Im sure in a few days my anger at what happened will die down and I’ll be able to appreciate it more. Also, I do apologize for the fans who were more excited about it then I am, sorry to be so depressed about it all 😛

Now, I said I’d talk about the match itself a bit, so I will do so. It wasn’t a great game of football by any means. Both teams took their time to make any impression, neither team seemed to want to risk much early on, and it was a while before the match developed any sort of pace. Despite a few chances being created, it wasn’t until later in the first half that the first goal was score by none other than the one and only, LIBEROPOULOS. A perfect cross from Scocco (left foot as well) leaving Libe with a perfect ball to head in to the net. Nothing made me happier than seeing this man, who has given everything for AEK, score the opener. There was talk of offside after the game… firstly, as if I care. With the number of onside goals we’ve had called for offside, with the number of favourable offside calls the reds (sure, others teams also, but we all know its mostly for the reds) have received, see if I care if its offside or not. This league is a joke, and now these reds, the biggest bandwaggon hypocrites to ever exist in the history of sport, have the nerve to call us out on this one goal? I have some words to say to them but I wont do so here.

Either way, offside or not, AEK were always clear favourites, despite what others may say. Sure, this is football. Its a beautiful sport where anything can happen, but all AEK needed to do was come out and play some decent football against a mediocre opponent and the result would take care of itself. And thats exactly what happened. Two goals, one from Baja and a beauty from Kafes, clinched the victory for us later in the second half. And had AEK came out stronger, and played the beautiful football we’ve seen her play in the past, the score would have been an embarrassment for Atromitos. Regardless, fair play to Atromitos (lets not get started on their coach though). They had to go just as far as we did to make it to the final, and for that alone they deserve some respect. They also came out and weren’t afraid to risk a bit during the game… there were certainly a few moments when they came very close to scoring.

Anyways, thats all I have to say. We won the Cup. We deserve it, even though I really can’t enjoy it as much as I’d like to. Ill post some videos and pictures later on. Please leave any comments in the comments section, I’d love to heard what all of you have to say for the game.

Atromitos 0-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , , on May 1, 2011 by alexaek

Hey Everyone. Sorry for the delay, I was fortunate (though in some ways unfortunate) enough to attend the match, and Ill be getting a match report up shortly. Plenty to be said, not nearly the majority of it being happy, despite the fact that we won our first trophy in nearly ten years.