AEK 0-1 Olympiakos

How close can it get. We were two minutes away from booking our place in the semi finals, in front of over 65,000 peaceful and well behaved AEK supporters, when it all ended.

I’m not sure how to feel right now to be honest. There’s some dissapointment, anger, pride, I guess a bit of everything. On the one hand, I want to focus on the positives, but I can’t help but dwell on the fact that we were so close to one of the greatest moments of the past three years for us. After all that we’ve been through, nothing could be more indicitave of the progres we’ve made and how well we’ve turned things around, than winning a Cup as a second division team.

The game started off fairly slowly, with both teams taking a while to settle into some sort of rythm. Olympiakos seemed to be controlling pressure early on, but it was clear their creativity in front of our net was lacking, and they were having a hard time coping with the pressure we were applying high up. Just as with the first match in Karaiskaki, it was AEK who were the only team making something of the possesion when they had it.

Eventually the chances started coming, with Aravidis and Mantalos both coming agonizingly close before the first half ended. Nonetheless, after the first 45 minutes the score was 0-0, and it started to seem like AEK were settling for the draw which would take them to the next round.

The second half started comfirming my fears further of AEK settling for a draw. We were defending well, and still moving the ball, but we began applying pressure deeper into our own territory, and were soaking up Olympiakos’ chances as they came.

Fortunately for us, our defence was almost flawless today. We were organized and solid, with Johansson in particular coming back often to stop any attacks before they could develop too much. Unfortunately for us though, there was only so much they could take before they would crack, and they finally did in the 89th minute with Jara taking advantage of some sloppy defending on our part and scoring an equally sloppy goal.

At that point, it all fell apart. The moment Olympiakos scored their goal, a number of people invaded the area surrounding the pitch and came close to getting their hands on some Olympiakos players, even managing to throw some flares inches away from them. Of course, Olympiakos’ players ran into the lockers immediately and from then on never appeared again on the pitch. AEK’s players remained, waiting anxiously for some sort of announcement, an announcement which ultimately never came.

The whole thing is a shame really. With a crowd of almost 70,000 fans, the entire match was peaceful until that last moment, and even then it was only a handful who ruined it for the rest of us. I don’t even know if they were AEK fans, or who they were, but it was clear whoever it was, they were waiting for that moment to make it onto the pitch.

Its safe to say we all have a right to be disappointed. We could have won the last game, we came close to winning this one, and for much of both matches we were the better team.

On the other hand, we all have a right to be proud too. Its clear to everyone who has been following the team that we are headed in the right direction. If you told an Olympiakos fan that it would take a lucky 89th minute goal to get past a second division AEK, they would have likely laughed in your face. Through all this, AEK, its management, and its supporters have proven to the rest of Greece that they will be back strong and ready come next season.

There has been talk on the refereeing from tonight’s match, and rightfully so. Olympiakos’ players went down awfully easily, and we had a couple non existent offside calls made against us. However, is there really a point in commenting on the refereeing? We can talk all we want about change, but its pretty apparent that things will never change, particularly when certain teams are involved..

Instead, I’d like to focus on some of the positive aspects we can take away from tonight’s game:

As always, I look forward to your comments!


12 Responses to “AEK 0-1 Olympiakos”

  1. Chris Zap Says:

    I’ll start with the comments, i am extremely disappointed. They shouldnt have stopped the game cause of 50 or so lousy idiots. The remaining 69K or so were well behaved. Will they punish their coach over his gesture towards our fans, holding his genitals? He provoked PAO 2 weeks ago and it worked for them, now he provoked us, will he get punished? No! These issues should be addressed as well. Even in Portugal he is making headlines. Their previous coaches would never have behaved that way, they were professional, this guy is a thug, like the rest of the management of that team.
    Now they are talking about punishing AEK with starting the next season at -3. I say this is enough, AEK, PAO, PAOK should start their own league, this is bullshit.
    Also, in terms of the players, we definitely need a new goalie. Anesti in the second half was tragic. I think he was too nervous.

    i am listening to the commentary on greek radio at the moment. They are talking about the coach, how little and small of a personality he is. Instead of running to celebrate with his players, he ran towards our fans. It still doesnt give a right to the 50 idiots to enter the stadium but still, enough with this asshole, send him back to Portugal.

    I better stop writing before i make myself small as well.

  2. Absolutely heartbreaking. I had a lecture right after the game finished and I went in there depressed and stayed that way throughout. Just wanted to go home at that point. So close yet so far, as they say.

    As for the goal, there’s a case to be made that it came off Jara’s arm no? I’m a rational man (at least I hope so aha) so I don’t want to start something just for the sake of arguing so correct me if I’m wrong but I honestly see it as a handball. It’s a tough call though so I’m not saying this with certainty. Here are a couple snapshots of it:

  3. Wouter from the Netherlands Says:

    I watched the game via internet and from that point of view it clearly looked like he pushed the bal with his upper arm in the net. So disappointing!

  4. Chris Zap Says:

    I stayed home yesterday to watch the game. Got some souvlaki from my nearby Greek joint, had a Mythos beer that i bought at Astoria, NY, all these of course on my yellow plate!! Sat in front of my computer and was watching on the net as well. In the meantime i had friends that were in the stadium sending me photos, i even called them so i could hear and get a feel of the atmosphere of the stands. It was so quiet when they scored, i kept hoping that they would have called it back. As Aravidis said, the ref never showed the center line after the goal.
    I just finished listening to the Oly reporter on the radio. He said he expected another 5 minutes at least of injury time!
    He also downplayed the coach’s actions, as is Oly’s management! They are saying that the coach was simply celebrating. According to Portuguese press he wasnt like that when he was in Portugal, i guess Greece does that to you 😉 Anyway, we are not living in the dark ages anymore, this kind of behaviour is unacceptable in this day and age from professionals. If you look at this video, you will see Kasami’s gesture towards the fans, its at the 56 second mark One can say he is simply a soccer player, they are not the brightest, you can sort of disregard it but coming from the coach its different. And seriously, was that really necessary from Kasami? What did he achieve by doing that? Did it really make him feel better? Can we do that in side Karaiskaki? Of course we will be punished if we did it in Karaiskaki. I remember Nikopolidis doing a gesture towards us once during the warm up for that historic cup game. He wasnt pointing at his genitals, he simply gave us the finger, enough to enrage those of us sitting at the stands.
    Anyway, the whole thing is sad and its all set up to accommodate the cancer of Greek football.

  5. Aekara47 Says:

    UEFA should ban greece from the Champions league for the next 3 seasons, the corruption in hellenic football is getting to obvious,its only gonna get worse when we get promoted next season unless something is done.

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