Archive for August, 2011

Dynamo Tbilisi – AEK 1-1

Posted in AEK on August 26, 2011 by aekman74

AEK got the result that we needed last night in Georgia,albeit in extra time.Leonardo’s 111th minute penalty,after Gudjonsen had been felled in the box,killed off the tie,and with an aggregate scoreline of 2-1 over the two legs,AEK has qualified for the Europa League group stage,which also brings in much needed funds!
Jimenez made three changes to the lineup that took the field in Athens.Lagos came in for Belleck on the left,which meant Libe spearheaded the attack with Gudjonsen just behind.Jose Carlos started on the right,Makos in the holding role with Gentzoglou.Dellas did not play with Kala taking his place,Karabelas left fullback and Georgeas on the right.Once again,new buy Konstantopoulos was in goals.
The game could not have begun any worse for the dikefalo,an early attack,as early as the 1st minute for Dynamo resulted in a goal.Kala,was marking the man with the ball in the box but not tightly enough and his opponent,sensing this,shot high into the roof of the net,giving Dimi(Konstantopoulos) no chance.The next 44 min and actually,just about the whole match,was a mirror image of the OAKA game.
AEK were finding it very difficult to keep the ball and sometimes putting two passes together was difficult in itself.A combination of the Dynamo players pressing and the waterlogged pitch caused most of the drama and we were lucky not to concede on a couple of occasions as the Georgians certainly took it to us.Then,to make matters worse,Dimi felt a strain down his side halfway through the 1st half.He tried to continue but couldn’t,so on came fan favourite Arambatzis,and he did not let anyone down.Coming on the pitch ‘cold’,he picked out crosses which could have led to danger,with ease and dominated his penalty area.We held out to halftime at 1 nil down,somehow!
In a case of footballing Deja Vu,just like last week,AEK only started to play when Leonardo replaced a hard working but ineffective Libe.Gudjonsen was pushed up to striker,Carlos just behind,Leonardo on the right and Lagos switched over to the left.The passing and movement off the ball was much better now and we started to create some clear cut chances.Gudjonsen,who really should be playing through the middle at all times,missed a golden opportunity to level the scores when he headed Leonardos cross inches over the bar,from 3 yards out,almost herder to miss than score.Having said that,Gudjinsen was excellent for us today,ran for everything with passion and caused defenders to double up on him,which frees others around him.Not long after Carlos missed the best chance of the match as his 1-on-1 with the keeper was blocked by the latter.AEK were clearly on top by now and going into extra time looked the most likely to score.Jimenez changed the tactics,telling the Backs to play long balls into the area,as Dynamo’s defense had trouble dealing with such balls and the fact that going through our midfield just was not working.It was such a ball that got in behind their defense and Gudjonsen pounced on forcing the penalty which Leo calmly tucked away.
So AEK go through to the last 48 in Group L,where we will face some familiar faces in the Belgians Anderlecht and Sturm Graz from Austria.Completing the foursome are the Russians Lokomotive Moscow who I don’t think we’ve met before.Although not an easy group,it is definitely one which we can qualify from,in either 1st or 2nd position.
P.S. There will be 2 AEK’S this year in the Europa League as AEK Larnacca from Cyprus has also qualified,knocking out the more fancied Rosenberg.


AEK 1 Dynamo Tbilisi 0…………….

Posted in AEK on August 19, 2011 by aekman74

A beautiful 87th minute header from Jose Carlos,our new no:10 and the man who’s come in to replace Nacho Scocco proved to be the difference in the 1st leg at the OAKA last night.Nikos Georgeas had the ball on the right,cut back inside on his left foot and delivered the perfect cross for Jose Carlos who sneaked in at the back post,heading downwards giving their keeper no chance.The 1 nil result leaves it all still to play for in Georgia but it must be pointed out that we had a perfect goal cancelled out for offside when replays clearly showed KALA had come from an onside position to head in Leonardo’s cross in stoppage time.
Manolo Jimenez started with a 4-2-3-1 formation for the first competitive game of the season.A crowd of about 20,000 was on hand with plenty of singing in the stands hoping for an exciting season ahead.Goalkeeper was another new signing in Konstantopoulos who looked very assured between the sticks,and was rarely troubled.With Georgeas at right back,Karabelas on the left,Manolas and Dellas in the centre,the defense was expected like this but what was unexpected was the injury to Dellas very early on and which threatens to keep him out of the 2nd leg.He was replaced by KALA who looks promising,strong boy,good in the air and on the ground.
Kafes and Makos began the game as the 2 defensive midfielders,Jose Carlos on the right of the attack,the one and only Eidur Gudjonsen on the left with Libe playing just behind another new signing in Steve BelLeck,whop also looks the goods,abit rough,but he’s only 21,plenty of pace,a nuisance in the box and with a better finish,could have also got on the score sheet,after he left his markers for dead with a great run from halfway in the 2nd period.
The 1st half performance from AEK was poor,lot of balls going astray,too much space between the midfield and forward lines and the Georgians looked ok in attack as their short nippy players took advantage and definitely were the better team for the most part of it,although like i mentioned,true goalscoring opportunities were very few and far between,for both teams.
The 2nd half started like the first and it was only when Libe was replaced by Leonardo in the 55th min that AEK started to assert themselves.He set up Gudjonsen but the latter’s shot wasn’t hard enough to beat the keeper.AEK by now were dominating with a few chances by cutting down Dynamo’s time on the ball,forcing them into errors and getting the ball in good field position.Jose Carlos had a great chance midway through when he shot from inside the box,the ball just dipping over the bar,their keeper beaten.Belleck also had a half chance with a header off target but if he keeps getting into good positions,I’m tipping the goals might not be far away from him.AEK by now were deserved of a goal but as time ticked away,the goal that seemed so elusive finally arrived.Jose Carlos celebrated by taking off,waving his jersey and going on a sprint,his happiness at scoring for AEK,there for all to see.
So to Georgia we go for the return leg,all to play for but if we keep our cool and play like we did in that 2nd half tonight,we should qualify for the group stage.The Georgians are not a bad side at all,but we do have the better players individually and much more height than them.My guess is that Jimenez will instruct to get high balls in the box at every opportunity,the advantage was that obvious.Keep a clean sheet at the other end,and we won’t have any problems.
p.s. Maccabi Tel Aviv 3 Pao 0 added to the celebration!!!!!!

AEK to travel to Georgia………

Posted in AEK on August 5, 2011 by aekman74

AEK will begin their European sojourns in the capital of Georgia this year against Dynamo Tbilisi,in the knockout stage of the Europa League.The first match will be played at the Boris Paichadze Stadium on the 18th of August with the return leg at the OAKA,1 week later on the 25th.
AEK will be expected to start favourites for the tie,however the Georgians have a rich history and should prove no ‘push over’.Indeed they won this tournament in 1981,and have previously won the old Russian League once with two Russian domestic Cups before the breakup of the Soviet Union.Since the formation of the Georgian League in 1990,Dynamo has been the dominant team with 13 premierships and 9 cups but have been under performing in the last couple of years.Like AEK,they are managed by a Spaniard in Alex Garcia who also has a couple of his countrymen in the squad which is mainly made up of local players.
Finally,Dynamo were the club that produced one Temouri Ketsbaia who graced the field for AEK in the early 90’s.Will be quite a contest but I’m sure AEK has the firepower,led by a rejuvenated Gudjonsen and should progress to the group stage!!!