Archive for Champions League

AEK Set To Face CSKA

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Jerseys with tags , , , , , , on July 24, 2017 by alexaek

The day many of us have been awaiting patiently (more likely rather impatiently) has finally arrived. In less than 24 hours from the publishing of this post, AEK will have finally played a Champions League game, the first in essentially a decade.

Our opponent for this 3rd qualifying round match is the Moscow based club CSKA. Most sources are understandably listing CSKA as the favourites, not least because their season has already been underway. AEK, on the other hand, have yet to play a competitive match with many of our new singings but that doesn’t worry me all that much. We’re expected to have a good crowd supporting the team in OAKA as ticket sales have been pretty steady over the past week and the team will definitely have enough motivation to put in a good performance. In fact I’ve just read that 15,000 tickets have been sold, plus the approximately 7,000 season tickets. That puts us at a crowd of around 21,000 though that will surely increase more throughout the day tomorrow.

AEK365 is reporting that Anestis will get the start in nets after Barkas sustained a rather serious injury that could see him sidelined for up to three months. In front of Anestis we can expect to see Bakakis, Chygrynskiy, Vranjes, and Lopes. Simoes will likely be paired with either Johansson or Galanopoulos with Livaja a little further up the pitch. Completing our attack will be Mantalos and Lazaros with Klonaridis expected to be up front if he is match fit.

Its not a bad lineup with some pretty good Greek representation. Its reassuring to see that Jimenez isn’t afraid to play Greeks when they deserve the spot since those are more often than not the players that the club will be built around.

Tomorrow’s match will take place at 8:30 PM Athens time which is 1:30 PM New York time or 3:30 AM Sydney time (on the 26th of July). I can’t really say what to expect from CSKA as I’m not at all familiar with the club, but they did just come off a 3-1 loss in the league against Lokomotiv Moscow. Having said that, they’re still undoubtedly a strong side but a positive result for AEK in Athens is more than possible. Its supposed to be a warm afternoon in Athens with a high of 32°C which could play in our favour as Moscow seems to be averaging mid to high 20s around this time of year. 

I’m not certain which kits we’ll be wearing but they’ll definitely be different than last season’s kits as new kits were released earlier in July. The First kit is similar to last year’s striped one, but with a slightly different style. Its not radically different but I still quite like it:

Its also possible we could wear our Third kit, one which I must say is quite gorgeous. I’m not convinced that it works as a jersey really simply because the details get lost when watching in the stands or on TV and it ends up looking like a plain black training kit. As something that I would want to purchase and wear myself though, it is stunning. Maybe a little more yellow around the edge of the Dikefalo would have helped make everything stand out a little more though:

Its an exciting day tomorrow and while I’m disappointed that I’ll have to be at work, I’ll definitely try to follow it as much as possible. Fingers crossed one of the Greek TV channels I have on TV will also be showing it so I can watch it after work. Either way theres a lot to look forward to and if we can come away with a positive result tomorrow, anything will be possible. Forza AEKara!

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AEK Returns to Champions League

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Soccer with tags , , , , , , , on May 31, 2017 by alexaek

After a ten year absence, AEK has the chance to book a place in the group stages of the Champions League next season. Of course it wont be easy as there is the potential of some big clubs standing in our way, but even just the chance to see us play in some Champions League qualifiers is an exciting prospect.

So, how did we end up here? Well it ultimately comes as a result of our win against Panionios today in Nea Smirni. The game got off to a rocky start with Panionios scoring first but it was clear AEK weren’t going to standby and gift a win to Panionios with the chances they were creating. Panionios didn’t end up holding on to their lead for long though as 13 minutes after they opened the scoring, AEK responded with a goal of their own courtesy of Mantalos.

The game got a little more interesting in the second half when Panionios had a man sent off which was followed by Lazaros getting a straight red. With ten players on each side, it was anyone’s game but it was Araujo who, in what was most likely his last game for AEK, scored the winner with a nicely taken header.

The win was a critical one since PAOK were right on our tails in the standings but Panathinaikos’ win in Toumba took off some of the pressure. With the playoffs having drawn to a close, we finished with 12 points from the six games; not perfect, but it was enough for the team to accomplish what it set out to.

Aside from clinching a place in the qualifying rounds of the Champions League, the game was also notable for quite likely being Araujo’s last with the team. I say “likely” because while I doubt we’ll see him back with the club next season, I’m still somewhat hopeful something can be worked out. Its clear he has enjoyed his time with the club (this was made even more evident today after he mentioned his love for the club and his desire to return as soon as possible) and he clearly has the potential to play a massive role in the team. His price tag is high but even if we cant outright buy him, maybe he’ll put some pressure on Las Palmas to extend his stay in Athens where he’ll have much more of an opportunity to develop as a player.

The game could also have been Jimenez’s final match in charge of the club. I certainly hope this isn’t the case as hes turned the club around significantly, but he hasn’t committed to the team yet and there have yet to be any negotiations between Jimenez and management. It would be a huge shame to see him leave after this season: hes established himself once again at AEK, he has gained the trust of the players, and he has brought some much needed stability to the club. I’m not sure what his demands will be in order for him to stick around next season, but I’m cautiously optimistic that they can be reached.

Highlights of the match:

Supporters chanting Araujo’s name after the match:

Larissa 2 AEK 3……..

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Europa League, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 10, 2011 by aekman74

AEK has beaten the locals courtesy of goals from Manolas and two from Lagos.Unfortunately,I didn’t watch the game,but highlights can be found on this link….

I hope AEKMAN74 won’t mind me adding to his post, but I figured I’d just add to his rather than post a new entry. I only managed to find a decent stream in time for the second half so that’s all I can comment on, but I still won’t say much. To be honest, we really should have scored at least another two goals in the final 45 minutes, with the chances we had. However, credit to Larissa, they managed to claw their way back. Also, credit for the their second goal, it was some very nice football indeed on their part.

The fact that we managed to let Larissa get within one goal of drawing the match however, after having a 3-0 lead from so early on, is a fairly scary thought considering we have the playoffs and a Cup Final coming up.

I won’t say much more about the game, I missed quite a bit of it. It is a shame, however, to see Larissa drop to the second division. I know alot of people may be happy about it, but I personally would much rather see teams like Panionios, Xanthi, and Volou out of our league as soon as possible. Larissa are a club with a brand new and very attractive stadium, supporters who managed to create an impressive atmosphere on Sunday, a side who recently won the cup and also had an impressive run in the UEFA Cup a few years back. These are the teams who should be staying up in order to benefit our league in general, rather than clubs run and operated by scum like Panionios, Volou, and Kavala (as well as many others… ).

Oh well, the league is pretty much done for the season aside from one more game. Now we have the playoffs and Cup final to look forward to. What will happen after that, come the start of next season, none of us will know. However, the team has a great chance now to win a cup and book a place in the qualifying rounds for Champions League. Its all I can hope for right now…

Anderlecht-AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC with tags , , , , on October 20, 2010 by alexaek

Big game tomorrow, a chance for us to get some revenge, and a win that never came against Anderlecht. Seems like its been a while since that day we came back from 2-0 down and ended up tying the match 2-2, a score which would have had us through to the Champions League group stage had the result from the Milan-Lille match been more favorable.

That’s all history now and we’re only looking forward. While it won’t be an easy match, I really believe we have a great chance to take all three points here! Hopefully last weekend’s result wont get to our players heads though, there is still alot of work to do!

Happy New Years Everyone!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Champions League, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Soccer, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 1, 2010 by alexaek

So, 2010 is now here. A whole decade has gone by once again, and while the decade did have many down points, there were some very memorable moments for us AEK supporters.

AEK365 has some videos at the bottom of the page showing some moments we will never forget. Some of the more memorable moments for me from this past decade were the following:

-The 1-0 victory against AC Milan. This was the first season I started following AEK seriously and this was also my first Champions League that I watched live. The stadium was filled and certain scenes will always remain in my memory including the many saves Sorrentino made that night, the crowd’s reaction when Julio Cesar scored his goal, and Dida clapping at the crowd when we applauded him after going off injured (I swear he looked straight at me)

-The 4-0 victory over Olympiakos was also a fantastic experience to see live. Tension was high at the beginning of the match but we started strong and the whole crowd was feeling optimistic. Blanco had scored that first header and before the smoke had even cleared from the flares of the first goal Edinho scored the second. What a fantastic night… the singing didn’t stop until long after the game and even when I was in my home I would still hear fans singing out on the streets.

-The final game of that same season when we beat Tripolis 2-0. Many fans including myself went on to the pitch after the match (many had gone on even before the game finished). We were almost certain the Championship was ours (to me it still is).

There were many other fantastic moments of this decade as well even though I may not have been able to experience those ones. Some of them include:

-Our good performance in Champions League when we were in a group including Real Madrid and Roma. We got draws every at every match, which is not bad at all considering the opposition (this was an absolutely superb Madrid). We also became the first team to come back from being 2-0 in Madrid and end up tying the match.

-Champions League in 2006-2007 where we got some good results as well though the away draw against Anderlecht will always be the game I remember from that year (after the Milan game). We managed to come back from behind and even things up with the score (the passion showed from Cirillo showed just how much that meant). We thought we were through to the next round until we heard that Milan had lost to Lille.

Well, I only really started following AEK in the 2006 season, so if any of you guys have some moments which meant alot to you be sure to post them!

Despite all these great moments however, this past decade saw us affected by many unfortunate times. Our situation in 2004 was pretty terrible and we only managed to keep the team up due to some legal procedures which managed to get us some money back from previous owners. However, despite Nikolaidis reviving the club and bringing us to some new heights (before the fans turned on him for various reasons and before he quit as team president in 2008) we have just recently experienced what has been, without a doubt, the worst season in AEK’s history. We currently pretty much have no leadership, players who aren’t being payed on time, a coach who hasn’t been payed for months and fans who have lost all trust in the board and players and there is very little hope among the fans. We currently sit in 8th spot and have already lost more games than we have ever lost before in one season.

I don’t know if 2010 will bring us some better times or if it will just be downhill from here. Only time will tell I guess.

Good news for AEK… If it’s actually true.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, Champions League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , on October 21, 2009 by alexaek

As Greeksoccer reports, Robert Kozonis, a wealthy bussiness man from Chicago is interested in becoming the main owner of AEK. This could be great for the club. He apparently has the necessary funds, and is not worried by the debt. The link discusses more details.

This is the kind of guy that can make the difference with AEK. He has the money and knows how to use it. He owns or has built over 120 buildings in Chicago, and his knowledge in engineering will certainly help as far as our stadium goes. Details are said to be finalized by tonight so lets see!

But now, time for some Champions League (which we could very well be playing in soon with Kozonis’ help).

Panathinaikos 1-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 13, 2009 by alexaek

1-1 was the final score at today’s Playoff game against our Athenian Rivals. Honestly, considering this is probably the toughest match of the Playoffs for us, this really isn’t a bad result. We now have five points, and PAO have six (depending on how the Larissa-PAOK match turns out we will stay in second or move down to third but it is still quite early so we still have a chance of finishing high up).

We went up first after a nice Scocco freekick was placed out of reach of Galinovic. I actually missed much of the first half but PAO had some close chances, including a Salpingidis one on one which he fortunately missed. PAO also had two penalties (they were both the correct calls I believe, especially the first one) in the first half. Salpingidis had the first penalty shot saved however PAO managed to score the next one which gave them their lone goal of the match.

The second half saw a great performance by AEK. They came out and dominated much of the game with some great passing and some close chances. PAO on the other hand really seemed to fall apart in the second half, however they still managed to create some extremely close chances (many of which came from set-pieces).

Our defence managed to read and hold down the PAO frontline quite well (relative to how our defence has been playing lately without Kyrgiakos). This was quite a relief to me, since I though that we would see a much worse defence today. Alexopoulos and Majstorovic played centre-back, while Koutromanos played right back and Georgeas played left back.

Blanco had a fine game, with some close chances. Djebbour, on the other hand, did not impress. I was quite surprised when I saw Bajevic pull Blanco out rather than Djebbour, but perhaps he wanted to rest him rather than risk an injury in the last ten or so minutes (Scocco got injured near the end of the first and had to be taken off and replaced by Manduca, but I’m still not sure how serious the injury is).

Manduca, Kafes, and Nsaliwa all had good games, and all played critical roles in our midfield. Nsaliwa fed our players some nice passes, while Manduca moved the ball well and provided some nice crosses.

Had we held on to the win we would of been in a great position and that much closer to Champions League Football for next season. Unfortunately we couldnt hold on but still, as I said earlier, a draw at this match is not a bad result. We still have some tough games ahead but PAOK isnt in their greatest form so we could win this weekend away in Toumba.