Archive for January, 2015

AEK to face Olympiakos for the next round of the cup!

Posted in AEK, Derby, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , on January 30, 2015 by alexaek

What can I say… Will it be easy? Of course not. Can we expect a fair match? Who knows.

All I really can say is that this round will be interesting to say the least. I honestly do think we have a chance, however slim it may be.  Holding Olympiakos back when we play them in Karaiskaki will be key, because in OAKA, in front of our own supporters, I think anything is possible. Seeing how we were able to play yesterday, particularly from the middle of the pitch up, gave me a lot of confidence in our ability to create goal scoring chances, and with some of our players such as Aravidis and Mantalos being in pretty good form, I think we definitely have a chance of scoring a few.

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AEK 2-0 Kerkyra

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2015 by alexaek

With relative ease, we managed to book our place in the Final 8 of the Greek Cup. I was feeling a bit uneasy going into the game but our players handled the situation brilliantly, taking control fairly early on and rarely giving it up. The team deserves credit after getting past two First division teams to get where they are now and depending on who we get drawn against for the next round, they should be confident of making to the quarter finals at least.

Speaking of the next round, the draw will take place tomorrow to determine who we play. The possibilities are the following seven teams: Olympiakos, Xanthi, (who just earlier today knocked out Panathinaikos), Panionios, Chania, Iraklis, Apollonas Smyrnis, and OFI. Obviously some fairly tough teams in there, but there are certainly some that I think we can comfortably challenge, including Apollonas, Iraklis, and Chania. Realistically, I think we actually have a decent chance against Panionios and Xanthi as well, though obviously Olympiakos will be a challenge (especially considering some of the remarks made by Melissanidis, I wouldn’t be surprised if Marinakis wants to make sure AEK don’t get any further).

As for today’s match, I’m pleased to say that, in my opinion at least, we really deserved the win. Not only were we comfortably able to keep control and possession, we also fought back hard whenever possession was lost and often won it back fairly quickly. Our ball movement and creativity were both pretty good as I saw attacks coming in from all angles. Particularly though, we were most dangerous through the middle with Barbosa and Johansson controlling the play nicely, though Soleidis down the left wing and Mantalos down the right also provided quite a few options.

Our offense generally stood out as being especially strong, though I’d have to say part of the reason that was the case was simply due to Kerkyra not creating many chances until later in the second half. I was worried though whenever Kerkyra did have a chance seeing as Anestis didn’t seem all that confident in net today. One of his errors during a Kerkyra corner led to Kekyra coming awfully close to scoring though thankfully a defender was in position to clear the ball.

I’d have to say that Barbossa and Johansson were key players to our victory today with how well they complimented each other. I found that Johansson was strong with the ball at his feet and able to control possesion in the middle while Barbosa added some of the creativity that we needed. MVP of the match however was Aravidis, who not only scored a difficult counter attack goal, but also came close on a few other chances.

Highlights of the match can be seen below:

To see statistics of the match and line-up information (and in English!), visit AEK’s official site:

http://www.aekfc.gr/mdpls/aek-kerkura-44536.htm?lang=en&;;path=-549382123

Live stream for AEK-Kerkyra

Posted in AEK, Kerkyra, Stream with tags , on January 29, 2015 by alexaek

http://tml-agones.blogspot.gr/2015/01/1700-aek-athens-fc-vs-aok-kerkyra.html

Half time stats: 65% possession for AEK, 4 shots for AEK and 0 for Kerkyra, 2 Yellows for Kerkyra and 0 for AEK.

We’ve by far been the more promising team and with a bit more luck would have scored at least a goal or two (a 0-0 draw will however be good enough for us to advance to the next round).

FINAL: AEK 2-0 Kerkyra. AEK easily the better team, goals from Mantalos (Penalty) and a well taken shot from Aravidis. Match report to come later this evening.

AEK 3-0 Panaigialeos

Posted in AEK, Football League, Nea Filadelfia with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2015 by alexaek

Not the greatest of days for a football match in Athens today thanks to what appeared to be a pretty nasty storm. I heard it was bad but it wasn’t until I watched the highlights that I realized just how bad… Thunder, pouring rain, and some decent sized chunks of hail falling from the sky.

As result of the weather, the match was delayed but it did eventually get under way. Unfortunately for our players, the downpour that had occurred earlier left the field, leading to yet another match played in less than ideal conditions.

There were some rather frightening moments in the first half as Panaigialeos came close to scoring on a couple of opportunities, though keeper Anestis was thankfully in form today. Despite the water clogged pitch, we did eventually manage to score before the half, with Aravidis heading in a Mantalos free kick. A number of other close chances for us were had before the first 45 minutes, but the half came to an end 1-0 in our favour.

Our second goal came in the 66th minute, again an Aravidis header though off of a nicely placed cross into the box by Soleidis. 20 minutes later, Aravidis, who had been in fine form all match, finished off his Hat trick with a lovely one time shot from just inside the box.

AEK365’s critique of the players varied significantly with three players (Lambropoulos, Sarris, and Johansson) receiving a rating of 6 out of 10. Unlike previous matches, it seems our defense, or our two centre backs at least, were not in their best form today. I suppose the condition of the pitch couldn’t have helped, though they made a few significant mistakes from what I saw in the highlights.

Three players on the other hand received rather high ratings, with Anestis, Soleidis, and Aravidis receiving 8, 8, and 9 respectively. Judging from what I could see in the highlights, the favorable ratings were well justified.

I suppose at least partly as a result of the weather, our attendance was unfortunately quite low, though I would personally like to point out the supportive gesture by the travelling Panaigialeos fans, who placed a large banner from their stands calling for an AEK stadium in Nea Filadelfia. Certainly nice to see, and from what I could gather the gesture was received enthusiastically by AEK’s supporters.

The standings in the league after today’s match are quite comforting as we are now 9 points ahead of Panachaiki (who have played a game less). I hadn’t realized this at first, but its actually pretty important that we finish with as many points as possible seeing the difference between us and whoever is in 3rd place determines how many points we start with in the playoffs.

I’m not sure how many of you had been following Greece’s election yesterday and over the past few weeks, but the result from yesterday doesn’t put AEK in a comfortable place. I’m not sure how the new Syriza coalition government will benefit the country, and whether it will be in a move in the right or wrong direction (though I guess realistically its hard to get any worse than how things were before yesterday), but as many of you already know, Syriza are quite against AEK’s proposed stadium.

The reason behind them being against the stadium is apparently mainly due to the fact that we’ve requested permission to cut down some trees along side the stadium grounds (reports I’ve seen have suggested the number of trees to be cut down will be as low as 15). I would like to make it clear that I appreciate the fact there are very few green spaces left in Athens, and the city, municipalities, and people need to do as much as they can to ensure what is left remains. I really do. When I lived in Athens, I took part in a number of tree plantings on Pendeli myself, and when I went walking and hiking on Pendeli, Parnitha, and Imittos, I saw firshand the destruction humans had caused to the trees that are so vital to keeping Athens a healthy place.

However, Melissanidis has agreed to replanting 200 trees elsewhere in Athens to make up for what would need to be taken down, and I believe either the environment for Athens, or the environment minister for Greece had already approved the plan. Still, however, Syriza and the Syriza backed mayor of Nea Filadelfia refuse to allow the stadium construction to go ahead.

Why?

I don’t know. We aren’t tearing down historically significant sites (for anyone who has seen the land where our stadium once was, you would remember how the place is literally a pit of dirt in the middle of Athens). Perhaps if the plans were to build a boutique hotel, or luxury shopping mall, I could understand some opposition. Instead, this is what AEK wants to bring to Nea Filadelfia:

-A high quality stadium, something which Greece desperately needs, especially if we are ever to host a Euro.

-A museum dedicated to the refugees from Asia Minor, something which will benefit not only the local citizens, but also visitors from all of Greece and abroad.

-A path, also dedicated to the refugees, from Iralkeio metro station (I believe its the Irakleio station, but I could be wrong).

-Jobs, not only during the construction, but also once the stadium is built.

-An attraction to help bring life back to Nea Filadelfia and hopefully revitalize the surrounding park which has, unfortunately, become rather neglected over the years and only a shadow of what it once was.

What we have is an owner who is willing to invest the money in something that will benefit AEK, its supporters, the residents of Nea Filadelfia, and Greece in general. How often does a country in such poor economic shape as Greece is in right now get someone willing to invest in something like this? Normally, an opportunity for the area and the country like this would never happen with the economy being the way it is, yet now that the opportunity has finally come, a few individuals seem determined to make sure it never happens. I feel hesitant to support a party which refuses to allow an opportunity that would only benefit the country. I try, and I try, but I fail to see how this stadium is bad thing for the country and Nea Filadelfia.

Who knows what will happen…

Kerkyra 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , , , on January 21, 2015 by alexaek

Despite having trouble finding a link that worked for the first time, I managed to find a working one in time for the second half. A few overall impressions/observations from the game:

-Can’t hell but smile when AEK is playing an away game yet all you hear are AEK chants. Our supporters were pretty awesome today and a fair amount of the chanting was in favour of our stadium in Nea Filadelfia

-Generally the game was rather sloppy from both teams, though I know it had rained before the match and it seemed like the pitch wasn’t in perfect shape as I saw players slipping on couple occasions

-Without a doubt we can do enough to make it to the next round when we next face Kerkyra for the second leg at home

-I was pleased to see AEK pressure Kerkyra even more after we went down 1-0. Of course its never ideal to be losing in a game, but its nice to know that we won’t back down or buckle under the pressure

Overall I wouldn’t say this was one of our better games, but all things considered I think its acceptable. Considering we now have the away goal advantage going into the second leg, I’m not at all worried about our chances of going through. I’m not in any way saying progression is guaranteed, but if the pitch in oaka is in good shape and we play the good football I know we’re capable of, then we shouldn’t have too hard a time. Kerkyra did have a few chances of their own but honestly I think we made them look better than they are as a result of our sloppiness.

Our goal was scored by Johansson who had only just came onto the pitch as a substitute. I hadn’t seen too much of him before this game but I was pleased with what I saw. He seemed eager for goals but also seemed to fit well within the team. I feel that with time, he could become a key part of our squad.

Kerkyra-AEK Streams

Posted in AEK, Greek Cup with tags , on January 21, 2015 by alexaek

For once in as long as I can remember, an AEK match has actually lined up with my free time, meaning that I can actually watch a game from start to finish (assuming, that is, that the streams are working).

For anyone else who wishes to watch the game, this link here has some links: http://www.aekfans21.com/2015/01/live-stream-kerkyra-aek-kypello-ellados.html

Should be a good game! I’d say that this is probably our most important game of the season so far.

Alimos 0-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, Football League with tags , , , , , , , on January 18, 2015 by alexaek

Not the greatest scoreline we’ve won by this season, and certainly not one of our best performances according to what I’ve read. Our only goal (scored off a penalty in the 90th minute) was scored by Aravidis who, along with keeper Giannis Anestis and Tzanetopoulos, received the highest ratings from AEK365. On the other end of the spectrum, Lambropoulos and Zoric were considered our worst players of the evening while the rest of the team was considered only slightly better.

The win puts us more comfortably in first with 34 points, while 2nd placed Panachaiki sit at 28 points. From what I saw of the highlights, the field was in anything but ideal shape though we really should be comfortably beating teams like Alimos (who are currently in 10th) regardless of the condition of the pitch. As the highlights show, we missed an earlier penalty in the game, a penalty for which I cant seem to quite clearly see what the justification was. Replays of the play seem to show obstruction in the box from an Alimos player. Our second penalty, however, seems to quite clearly be for a handball from an Alimos defender in their box.

The highlights also show we had a number of chances to score earlier in the game, which leaves me wondering why we seem to have no problem scoring five or more goals some games while against weaker opposition we need a penalty to score our only goal.