AEK 2-0 Kerkyra

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

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