Archive for Bakasetas

AEK 1-1 Olympiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby with tags , , , , , , on October 9, 2018 by alexaek

While last season was one of our best on record when it came to derbies, this season is shaping out to be anything but…

To be honest, I didn’t have the highest hopes as the game started. We always have a good shot against Olympiakos, particularly when playing at home, but having both Mantalos and Ponce out of the lineup was always going to be a huge blow to us. Surprisingly though, we quite easily controlled the pace of the match for almost the entire first half. In fact, it was safe to say that Olympiakos didn’t really look like threatening at all until the 44th minute when they hit the post.

Despite controlling the pace and possession for most of the first half, we struggled to make anything come of it. We did hit the post once ourselves but the team seemed lost in the final third of the pitch. It didn’t help that not only was Mantalos missing, but Simoes was having a particularly bad game. Usually we see Simoes all over the pitch, getting involved any chance he could, but he was nowhere to be seen on Sunday. Bakasetas tried to get some offense going, but Livaja and Klonaridis weren’t doing much to help out. Funny enough was the fact that Hult was probably our most dangerous player going forward aside from Bakasetas.

As I could almost anticipate, Olympiakos made us pay for our lack of scoring in the first half when Fourtounis managed to put one in the back of the net out of Barkas’ reach. With Olympiakos up 1-0 from early in the second half, the game looked more and more like a lost cause as time wore on until Bakasetas was able to sneak one in for us in the dying minutes of the game, leveling the score at 1-1 and salvaging a valuable point.  With seconds left in the game, Olympiakos had the easiest of chances to make it 2-1 in their favour when Fetfatzidis failed to put away a shot from point blank range.

All in all it was a disappointing outing for us, especially considering we had more than enough time to put ourselves ahead earlier in the match. Realistically there wasn’t much Ouzounidis could do from the bench considering key players like Simoes, Klonaridis, and Livaja simply weren’t having the best of games. The league isn’t a lost cause yet (far from it really) but a win would have put us just one point off of first place. As it stands, we’re currently tied for 3rd with Olympiakos, level on 13 points.

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OFI 0-3 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , on September 29, 2018 by alexaek

After a disastrous week last week, which saw us lose to both Ajax and PAOK, a positive performance from the team today saw us rebound in the best way possible.

Certainly what we saw last week was not at all what we would have hoped for but like I often say, its better that we have these reality checks earlier in the season, when there’s still plenty of time to make up lost ground. Today’s performance thankfully suggested that the team put last week’s results behind them and instead focused solely on the task at hand.

I’ll be honest, I was happy to see OFI back in the Superleague. They often had pretty good home support when I watched them in the past and were a team that could often put in a surprisingly strong performance. They didn’t pose much of a threat today, but they did manage to have a few chances themselves throughout the match, despite playing with ten men for much of the time. AEK, however, were clearly the stronger side and aside from a few times when we were caught on the counter attack, we controlled the pace for most of the match.

Bakasetas got the scoring started for AEK with a low shot that has somewhat become a specialty of his. The second goal was a thing of beauty. It all started when Klonaridis was taken down intentionally just outside the box. Galo took the resulting free kick, one which he slotted perfectly in the back of the net. The third and final goal of the night was a rather sloppy one, a tap in scored by Ponce following some poor defending by OFI.

All in all the team looked good, back to what we had hoped to see from them last week. Barkas was amazing in nets and though he wasn’t called into action too often, when he was needed he managed some great saves. Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news for us as Lopes suffered a knee injury towards the end of the match. I haven’t heard of a formal diagnosis but judging by his reaction, he could tell it wasn’t going to end well. Hopefully he comes back strong and as soon as possible since he’s been a rather steady player for us this past year.

MOL Vidi 1-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Greek Soccer with tags , , , on August 22, 2018 by alexaek

With a win and two away goals for AEK in Hungary today, its safe to say we’re looking even more likely to book our place in the Group stages of the Champions League. All in all a great result for us as we now clearly have the upper hand for the return leg in Athens. It could be said though that perhaps we could have even expected more out of the match.

MOL Vidi were playing with ten men for the majority of the match after Huszti was sent off early on for a dangerous tackle on Bakasetas and we certainly had our chances to capitalize even further. In either case, two away goals is huge going forward and considering our form at home, I struggle to think of scenario where we end up giving up this lead.

Unfortunately it wasn’t all good news as we also ended up receiving a red card as well, this time with Bakasetas on the other end of it. Bakasetas had a busy day for himself because aside from being involved with two red card plays, he also scored the second goal for us. It was a rather beautiful goal, finding himself in front of the net with some space to set himself up for a shot which took a slight deflection on its way to the back of the net.

The first goal was a tap in following a saved Simoes shot, slotted into the net by Klonaridis. Klonaridis, who also scored against Celtic, seems to be finding himself some good form as of late and if this keeps up, he might be just the kind of player we needed to take Araujo’s spot.

Today’s win, aside from setting us up in a great position for the next match, also broke the previous record unbeaten streak in Europe for a Greek side. The previous record (also held by AEK) was at 12 games but today’s win means we are now 13 games undefeated in European play. In all likelihood that record will extend to 14 games by next Tuesday. Next week’s game is scheduled to take place at 3:00 PM Eastern Time (8:00 PM Athens time) and considering what is at stake come next game, I’m hoping for an excellent atmosphere at OAKA!

Champions Again, 24 Years Later!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , on April 22, 2018 by alexaek

I know, I know, its not official yet as we’re still (!) waiting on the court case regarding the PAOK-AEK match in Toumba. But, its hart to not feel like we’re champions following the scenes that were a result of our 2-0 victory over Levadeiakos.

In front of 70,000 cheering and chanting supporters, we practically sealed our 12th Championship in history, and our first since the 1993-1994 season. Bakasetas was the hero today as he scored both goals, including one from the penalty spot. The highlight of the game though is when Mantalos made his way onto the pitch, 172 days since he last played a match for AEK after recovering from a serious knee injury.

Its amazing to think we’ve finally achieved this considering where we were playing not that long ago. As Tzanetopoulos said, the team has been dreaming about this moment from when they were playing in the 3rd division and it has finally happened!

Theres a lot that can be said about what happened today in Athens, but I’ll let some video footage do the talking.

I was relieved to see that the supporters in the stands didn’t cause any trouble during and after the match. I was sure that just a few flares or a few fans storming the pitch afterwards would have had some teams demanding some kind of punishment for AEK.

Instead of causing any trouble in the stadiums, our supporters left the more “rambunctious” celebrations for the streets of Nea Filadelfia.

The celebrations inside the locker room meanwhile were equally enthusiastic:

Theres not much that can be said really after a day like this. All I can say is that this team deserves credit. The players, the staff, Jimenez, Melissanidis, everyone has done an incredible job to get this far. We’ve all but won the league, we’re in the Cup Final, we were undefeated in the Europa League, its hard to remember a better time to be an AEK supporter in recent memory. Lets just hope the court case goes favorably for us so that we can well and truly host a fiesta like we did back in Nea Filadelfia!

At A Loss For Words

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Football with tags , , , , , on March 11, 2018 by alexaek

Just when you think you’ve seen it all in Greek football, something happens that makes you realize you haven’t seen anything yet. What unfolded in Toumba today proved yet again that you can really never know what to expect when it comes to this league (though calling it a “league” would be a little too generous… maybe “zoo” would be more appropriate).

It all started with what happened early Sunday morning (or late Saturday night for those of us in North America) as I mentioned yesterday. PAOK’s punishment for what happened two weeks earlier in Toumba were reversed as they were given back 3 points and were allowed to play with fans in the stadium for today’s match. How those decisions were made is beyond me, but what was more important today was the game at hand against the only team that could challenge us for the league.

The game got off to what was surprisingly a quiet start off the pitch. Little fan trouble from what I could tell and no issues in the locker rooms either, though the match itself was a dirty one. Tackles were coming from both sides and as would be expected, it wasn’t the kind of environment that encouraged flowing football. Eventually things settled down and we did see some chances for both sides, including scoring opportunities for Araujo, Livaja, and Bakasetas.

The match was heading for a 0-0 stalemate when at the 89th minute, PAOK scored from a corner. Or did they? Replays showed that a PAOK player was clearly in an offside position and though the referee originally indicated that the goal was a good one, he seemed to track back on that decision. After consulting with his linesman and dealing with pressure from both sets of players, he seemed to reverse his decision (a call which I believe was a good one, though “experts” in Greece seem undecided on whether the goal should have counted or not).

Now you might be wondering, what was so odd about that? A fairly dirty game, a few chances for both sides, and a last minute winner are all to be expected in a derby. Well, it was after the referee changed his mind on the goal that things unfortunately turned ugly. What happened next was honestly something I would never have expected to see, not even in Greek football.

At this point in the game with the score reversed back to 0-0, Ivan Savidis, owner of PAOK, stormed on to the pitch and instructed his players to leave the pitch. I guess he was attempting to protest the refs decision to disallow the goal? In either case, it didn’t help to calm the situation down at all and he faced resistance from his own players after they refused to leave the pitch and insisted on finishing the match. The situation escalated from there as Savidis made his way towards the refs and AEK’s bench, supposedly cursing officials including referee Kominis and a number of AEK staff members.

What made all of this almost unbelievable is one small detail that wasn’t originally shown on TV. Pictures that surfaced not long after all this happened show Savidis walking onto the pitch with a pistol strapped to his waist. Yes, thats right. PAOK’s owner walks on to the pitch and not only does he start threating officials and staff of AEK, but he does so with a gun on him. I can honestly say I’ve seen it all in Greek football now. I don’t know if Savidis thought he was back in Russia, where maybe that kind of thing happens regularly, but I think its safe to say you can understand why AEK players and staff made their way to the dressing room shortly after that.

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After the incident involving Savidis, the refereeing team also made their way to the dressing rooms and it was at this point where the result of the match was completely up in the air. Would the game continue? Would it be ended as a draw? It took around two hours before a decision was made and the decision that was officially declared by the ref was one that not even the radio commentators had ever seen before. Officially, the ref claimed a 1-0 PAOK win and declared the game “called off” because AEK refused to re-enter the pitch. So the goal counted, then was taken back, and was then re-awarded to PAOK after the fact. Yep, I don’t think I’ll ever see a day like this again in Greek Football.

Now, at this point the match might be awarded 1-0 for PAOK but I think its safe to say that this is far from over. This will definitely be taken to court, and AEK will have a strong case for having the result reversed in some way. I’m sure it will be a couple weeks at least until we know what officially the outcome of this match is. Its also worth noting that there is talk of the government shutting down the league, indefinitely or for the remainder of the season. I’m sure the headlines of newspapers throughout Greece will be pretty interesting…

Panetolikos 1-4 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , on January 7, 2018 by alexaek

Well its certainly nice to be back! Don’t get me wrong, I love the holidays, and getting back to work and the daily routine that comes with it wasn’t all that exciting but hey, if theres one good thing to take from this time of year, its the fact that we get to watch AEK again!

This year especially is an exciting time since for the first time in as long as I can remember, we start a new year with a legitimate chance at a Championship. Its still far too early to make any guesses as to what might happen come the end of this season, but our game yesterday against Panetolikos was certainly an indication that this team means business.

Now its worth pointing out that despite the fact that we comfortably outscored Panetolikos, it wasn’t always an easy match. They certainly came close a few times but some brilliant goal keeping from Tsintotas kept us in the match. Having said that, our performance offensively was really enjoyable to watch. We saw some great ball movement, brilliant finishing, and it seemed clear to me that not only were the players well rested, but they seemed confident in what their approach to the match should be.

Our first goal came from Bakasetas, a long range effort off of a free kick. It was a beautifully struck shot that had just the right mix of power and dip. Our second goal came from the penalty spot after Lazaros tucked his penalty shot in the lower corner of the net. The penalty was won by Bakasetas after he was taken down in the box. I don’t think there was any doubt that it was a penalty after watching the replays.

Our third goal was the result of some composure on the part of Araujo, who did well to put the ball in the back of the net after a great effort by Bakasetas. Starting to see a theme here? Three of our four goals were either scored by Bakasetas, a result of a penalty he drew, or directly from an assist of his. AEK365 were justified in giving him a 10 out of 10 rating as it was quite easily his best match with AEK in my opinion. His assist on the third goal is worth watching multiple times as it really is quite brilliant. In fact, everything about that goal from the build up to the finish was beautiful to watch.

Our fourth goal was also quite a special one to watch. Not only was the one time football leading up the goal played out perfectly, but the goal itself was scored by the substitute Lopes who had come on less than a minute earlier.

Great stuff overall and though our defense did slip a bit at times, I couldn’t ask for a better start to the new year.

Over the holidays, we made two singings that could help provide some depth to the squad. One of the singings is Erik Moran, the Spanish defensive midfielder we bought from Spanish side Leganes. In addition to that, we also acquired Masoud Shojaei from Panionios, an Iranian midfielder who has played many years of his career in Spain, as well as with the Iranian national team. He had a good season and a half with Panionios and I was personally quite happy to see the singing go through.

Moran didn’t feature in yesterday’s game, but Masoud did. He came on in the 52nd minute and though he had less than half a game to make an impression, he certainly seems to be off to a good start with the club. He played a huge role in our fourth goal and generally showed some composure along with some great ball distribution. Its still a little early to say for sure but I think he could fit in very well with this team.

 

Back To Winning Ways

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball, Champions League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2017 by alexaek

After a less than ideal weekend, our football and basketball teams got back to winning ways in the Cup and Champions League respectively. For our football side, it was a 4-0 away win against Panaitolikos that all but secures us a place in the next round courtesy of goals from Lazaros, Bakasetas, Galo, and Giakoumakis.

A win for AEK was always going to be the more likely result, but it was nice to also see the team get back to goal scoring ways after they struggled so much over the weekend against Apollon. It was a pretty strong lineup that Jimenez fielded today with only Galanopoulos being the non-regular. Otherwise it was a lineup similar to what we’ve been used to seeing this season which I didn’t mind considering the team will have a couple weeks to rest before they return after the break. One noticeable player missing was Simoes, who was recently diagnosed with an injury that should keep him sidelined for about 3-4 weeks.

All in all a good result which should give us a chance to rest some key players when the next match takes place in early January. I’m reading up on the match and watching the recording as I write this, but from what I’m seeing it looks like we were clearly the stronger side and generally played some fairly attractive football. That’s a relief to see considering how poor we looked over the weekend. Its promising to see that the team was able to turn things around quickly and not dwell on what happened last weekend for too long, and its also nice to see Barkas get the cleansheet. Considering we don’t really know what will happen with regards to Anestis’ contract, we’ll need all the goaltending we can get from Barkas and Tsintotas.

 

It wasn’t only our football club in action today as we also had a basketball game against Venezia for the Champions League. I had mixed feelings going into this game about whether we’d pull off a result considering we managed to beat them in Italy, but we also didn’t look too great against PAOK over the weekend. Luckily, our basketball team was also able to put their disappointing result behind them and come away with a 84-64 win.

The win was a huge one for us as it puts us 3rd place in our group and in a good spot for qualification to the next round. Green finished the night with 19 points and 10 assists while Mavroeidis also had 19 points complimented by 6 rebounds. Other noteworthy performances came from Sakota who finished with 10 points and Harris and James who both finished with 8 points.

Despite the result and the fact that we find ourselves in 3rd place, the group is still very tight with 3rd to 6th all tied on 14 points. Its worth remembering that the top four teams from each group advance so we’re safe where we are at the moment, but any poor results going forward could be the difference between qualifying and going home early.