Well, it wasn’t a pretty win, but at the end of they day it was a well deserved three points. One goal was scored from Djebbour (who was superb today) and two from not Blanco, not Scocco (he didn’t play in the end), not Leonardo, Hersi, or Guerreiro, but…. KAFES!
No videos up yet, I’ll get some tomorrow. It was a freezing (literally) night tonight, with a mix of snow and rain towards the end of the game. Luckily though, the players weren’t affected too much.
As could have been predicted before the game, PAS held back and played the counter attacks. This proved to be a nightmare for us as we could not handle them once they took off. Unlike with Iraklis, where we managed to cut off many of their counter attacks before they develloped, we could not stop PAS on the counter at all today and some luck (along with some poor refereeing) helped us not concede earlier.
We scored first, a powerful header by Djebbour off of a Georgeas cross. His header was clocked at 60 km/h.
PAS tied things up ten minutes into the second half and the players seemed to loose concentration and and focus as the fans started to loose patience. Eventually, things tightened up and we started putting the pressure on PAS again. We scored the much needed (for the players and the fans) second goal which came from Kafes. Leonardo had a freekick outside the box which he passed on the ground to Gentzoglou who, with a nice back heel, placed the ball in the centre. Kafes saw the ball and shot and with so many players crowded in the box and the shot nice and low the PAS keeper could not react quick enough.
Kafes scored out third in extra time, a well placed shot after another back heel, this time from Lagos. This third goal sealed the deal on a much needed win and we now continue our unbeaten streak in the second half of the season.
So, we started with Arabatzis in nets, Georgeas (don’t forget, Araujo was out with a red card from last weekend), Majstorovic, Gentzoglou, and Karabelas completing our back line, Makos, Manduca, Kafes, and Hersi making up our midfield, and Blanco along with Djebbour were up front.
Arabatzis had a decent game. There wasn’t much he could do (or anyone else for that matter) with PAS’ goal, but he collected many corners with confidence tough was never really tested with any tough shots.
Georgeas had a good game though made some mistakes and could not handle PAS’ left wing on the counter attack. Majstorovic had a very good game, cleared many balls with confidence though he was also caught on the counter attack. Gentzoglou had a good game and made some critical tackles to keep us in the game. Karabelas was very good, defensively and also offensively, contributing some good runs up the wing.
Our defense was good for the most part except the counter attacks. This is the first time I’ve seen us truly exposed like this this season so hopefully it was a one off thing. Either, we must be more prepared.
Our midfield was alright. Manduca and Hersi (especially Hersi) both had good games but Makos was worse than usual (usual meaning terrible). He did have one nice shot which was barely saved but the rest of the game he lost the ball many times. There were a few promising aspects of his play, some decent passes and he was able to travel with the ball better than normal, but he was still a big problem for us today. He received many boos from the fans which really didn’t help. Kafes was good today and obviously provided a threat up front.
Our offense was one of the better aspects of today’s game, especially Djebbour. Towards the end of the match we had numerous top class chances to score but couldn’t either because of poor finishing or great goalkeeping from the PAS keeper. Djebbour was quite something today. He scored a goal and had numerous other chances to score and also set up Blanco with a superb cross across the pitch straight to the Argentinian’s feet. This left Blanco head to head with the keeper however, as is typical of Blanco this season, he couldn’t finish it.
Our substitutes were Lagos, Leonardo, and Roger. Lagos was superb! Hopefully the guy will get more playing time now. Roger I honestly did not see enough of. Leonardo had a good game, surprisingly. Not fantastic, but good.
The Originals painted (with spray paint) all the seats where the sit Yellow and Black! An impressive feat and I must say, it looks great! However, with the derby with PAO coming up next weekend, I wonder how the PAO fans will feel. Let’s see what happens there. If they leave it it would be great, add some character to the stadium. I can’t see them leaving it though.
Sorry for the rushed post but school starts again tomorrow since exams are over and I have to get up early once again 😦
Oh, a couple more things to point out. Six Greeks made up our starting eleven, a great number to see! Also, believe ti nor not, PAOK beat Olympiakos in Karaiskaki! Edinho scored the only goal of the match!