Archive for Greek Cup

AEK 3-0 Platanias

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, Champions League, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , on March 1, 2017 by alexaek

With relative ease we’ve booked our place in the semi-finals of the Cup. Can we go all the way from this point on? I see absolutely no reason why we can’t with the form we’re seeing at the moment.

Going into the game I was very slightly worried, if only for the fact that the 0-0 draw in the previous game in Crete left us little breathing room if we failed to score early. Platanias afterall only stand one point behind us in the league and have proven time and time again that they can get results against bigger clubs.

Any fears I might have had though we’re quickly put to rest after we got off to a pretty good start, with Lazaros scoring the penalty that resulted from Mantalos being taken down in the box by Platanias’ Yaya Banana. That same play also resulted in a red card for Platanias which certainly only made things easier from that point on.

Oh, and speaking of penalties and red cards, the olympiakos press has been going on all night about how we got “helped” by the refs through the calls… Regardless of whether the penalty was the right call or not, the fact that their press has been going on about this, from a game they weren’t even involved in, is something else. Maybe they’re using it to get their supporters more fired up in case they play us once again in the Cup? Can’t say I mind, it would make any meetings between us in the Cup that much more enjoyable. I still find it incredible that supporters of that team can have the nerve to complain about another team receiving a call like that from a ref…

Back to our game though: I think its safe to say that after the first goal and the red card for Platanias, pretty much anyone following the game would think that the win was pretty much guaranteed for AEK at that point. Rightfully so too, as we continued to score with goals from Araujo (his third in the cup so far) and a beautifully taken finish by Johansson.

Its also safe to say that with a little more luck, the score could have easily ended around 5-0 as we hit the post and had a number of excellent chances missed throughout the game. Regardless, its the win that counts, an important win that books us a place in the semi-finals of a Cup which I genuinely believe our players want to win. It helps too having a coach who has won this cup before and knows how good it would feel to raise it again.

Its obviously too early to tell who we’ll face in the next round but Panathinaikos will definitely be there. I’m pretty confident PAOK will make it to the next round too, but it will be interesting to see what happens in the Atromitos-Olympiakos game. Its very possible we could end up seeing Atromitos joining us in the semi-finals considering Olympiakos’ recent form in Greece.

Unfortunately, it wasn’t all good news today as Chyrgrynskiy had to be subbed off after just a few minutes into the game for what seemed like an arm injury. I’m not sure how bad it is at this point but I hope it doesn’t keep him out for too long.

 

As great as our football team has been lately, our basketball team also deserves some credit after not only beating PAOK over the weekend, but also beating Monaco yesterday in the Champions League round of 16. It was only a one point win, but its definitely a promising result going into the return leg in France. Its also promising to keep in mind that there will be at least 500 AEK supporters present in the rather small arena in Monaco, not to mention the number of Marseille supporters who will also make the trip to support AEK.

Platanias 0-0 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Jimenez with tags , , on February 9, 2017 by alexaek

Critical Cup quarter-final clean sheet..

Well, it wasn’t the high scoring affair that we all would have hoped for. In fact it was a pretty disappointing match from what I’ve read.

Having said that, it did sound like Jimenez was experimenting with a 3-5-2 formation, so its somewhat understandable that the players didn’t settle into the new system right away. Why he would try something different I couldn’t say. Afterall we’ve been getting some decent results up to now with Jimenez in control. But at least it didn’t backfire completely on us.

It has to be said that while its too bad we didn’t score, its also just as important that we didn’t concede. We’ve looked good at home since Jimenez took over so bringing this match back to Athens on even footing definitely works in our favour.

AEK 6-0 Levadeiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , , , , on February 2, 2017 by alexaek

Perfect start for Araujo

Just days after singing for us, Araujo not only managed to find himself in the starting XI, but he also managed to get his name on the scoreboard (twice). A great way to start his time with us, though credit must also go the rest of the team. They came out strong from the start of the match and carried their momentum through to the final whistle.

Aside from Araujo we also saw goals from Bakasetas, Kolovetsios, Vargas, and Galanopoulos, all players who contributed to AEK scoring six goals against a 1st division team for the first time since 2003. The win, of course, also books our spot in the next round where we will face Platanias.

Playing against Platanias certainly won’t be easy. They are, afterall, just one point behind us in the league. Having said that, I’m confident we can advance even further, especially considering that after four games with Manolo in charge, we have scored nine goals and conceded none.

Its worth noting that even though Mantalos didn’t play today, it didn’t seem as though he was missed at all. With both Bakasetas and Vargas having great games, we managed to get a number of good shots and crosses into the box. If they can both keep playing this way, part of me hopes that Manolo lets them continue playing where they played today (even if that means Mantalos occasionally playing a less prominent role).

 

Catching Up…

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , on December 20, 2016 by alexaek

Its been a while since my last post (over a month at this point), mostly due to the final couple months of school taking up a lot of my time. Now that all of that is behind me, I figured it was time for a quick post going over what I’ve missed.

Disappointing League Results

Things have been less than ideal in the league over the past month and a half. We’ve had four league games since my last post and while they were all against what should in theory be weaker teams, only two out of those four games actually ended in wins. The first win was a 3-0 home victory over Platanias and we also got a comfortable 4-0 home win over Levadeiakos. Both those results were followed by draws against Kerkyra and, just yesterday, a home draw against PAS Giannena. Now I know nothing ever comes easy but had we won those two games we drew, we would have been sitting in 2nd with 24 points and a far smaller gap between us and Olympiakos. Instead, we find ourselves 5th with 20 points, behind Xanthi, PAO, and Panionios.

Yesterday’s result was one of those results that are that much harder to swallow. It was a strange game from the start really, with Aravidis being sent off on a straight red with a Zidane imitation headbutt. Surprisingly though we played pretty well considering we were a man down and then got gifted one of the easiest goals Pekhart will ever have to score. To top the whole game off though, we conceded an extra time goal which was clearly offside. Not the result we deserved, especially considering it sounded like the team looked really promising even when playing a man down, but I’ve come to expect this sort of thing from this league.

To make matters worse, Mantalos also missed a penalty yesterday…

 

Disappointing Cup Results As well..

After our 4-0 Cup win against Kerkyra, we ended up with some pretty disappointing results after drawing Karditsa 2-2 and Lamia 0-0. Safe to say we should have done better, especially against Karditsa when we were ahead 2-0 before letting them back into the game. Thankfully the results were still enough to get us through to the next round where we’ll face Levadeiakos, but I’ll definitely be hoping for some better results from this point on. Since it seems as though we’re already out of the title race, it would be nice if we can make a decent attempt for the Cup again this year.

 

 

Wins for AEK in Football and Basketball

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Kerkyra with tags , , , , , on October 26, 2016 by alexaek

AEK 4-0 Kerkyra

Our first Cup game off the season ended well for us, even if it didn’t get off to the greatest of starts. I didn’t get the chance to watch the match (yet) but I did notice the lineup Morais went with beforehand and I must say it looked quite interesting. Noticeable changes he made from our 0-0 with Panionios over the weekend included starting Barkas as keeper with Lambropoulos as center back beside Kolovetsios and Diaz starting at left back. Galanopoulos and Lazaros were added to our midfield with Aravidis and Pekhart playing up front.

We got on the scoreboard seven minutes in at which point I thought we would comfortably coast to a win but it took an awfully long time for us to get our second (and third, and fourth…) goal. Lazaros, with his first official goal for AEK, got the goal that finally sealed the win for us in the 78th minute with Pekhart adding further insurance two minutes later. An own goal by Kerkyra in the 90th finally finished things off for the guests.

Its a big win for us as we head into this weekend’s derby against PAOK but really, nobody expected us to drop points to Kerkyra so I’m hoping the players don’t look too much into the result. Sure it was nice to see us score some goals, but a 4-0 home win over Kerkyra means very little heading into a derby in Toumba. Still a lot of work that needs to be done if we expect to get any kind of result up north.

For another look at the game, and some highlights, check out agonasport.com’s review of the match here. And, for those of you who like myself didn’t get to watch the game, you’re in luck. YouTube has the match in its entirety:

 

2 for 2 in Basketball Champions League

Our basketball team followed the Cup win with a win of their own, a 80-58 away win over Belgin side Proximus Spirou. Its our second Champions League win in a row and our sixth straight competitive win of the season following our Cup win and three League wins. A great start to the season for sure for what is one of the more promising teams we’ve had in a while. Ukic was the key player of yesterday’s match, leading the scoring with 18 points.

We play Trikala this weekend, a game which I feel we should win, followed by Rethimno the week after. However, the 12th of November is when things get interesting as we face PAOK in Thessaloniki. It will be our biggest test of the year so far in the league, but I’m actually confident we can get a decent result since we’ve had decent results up there the past season or two.

The match that will really be worth watching will be our game against Besiktas next Tuesday. Winning this game will go a long way to getting us out of the Champions League group stages and will be a great test as to where we currently stand as a team.

The Cup Is Ours!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Cup, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , on May 17, 2016 by alexaek

I try to look at things rationally most of the time. I like to take things for what they are and not take from them something that simply isn’t there since doing so usually just leads to disappointment. Tonight though, I have to make an exception.

I’ll have to start off by saying that I didn’t get the chance to watch the match live since I had things booked from a while back that I couldn’t change at all. At first I wasn’t as upset as I normally would have been about missing the game; afterall, with how long the whole fiasco had been dragged out I was more just hoping it would all be over. Knowing we wouldn’t have any fans in the stands also didn’t help and on top of that, I figured one way or another, someone or something, would have made sure we didn’t get the chance to win.

I knew we already beat Olympiakos once this season, but part of me figured certain influential factors would be at play to make sure Olympiakos getting the double would just be a formality. As we saw when they played Tripolis last year, things seem to happen to make sure games like these go their way.

I guess I didn’t realise that it was possible to have a Cup final in Greece where refereeing didn’t interfere with the game at all. I guess I also didn’t realise that we do in fact have a better team than them. Obviously the rational side of me would still be saying that no, Olympiakos still has a stronger team than us. But tonight, I can’t help but look back at what we did and feel that we are absolutely the stronger team. Twice this season we took them on, shut them out of the game, and took our chances to come away with the win. Maybe we didn’t get the humiliating wins we all would have liked, but we got the job done and that in itself is an accomplishment considering the different budgets involved between the two sides.

I saw the highlights and I must say that we did really well to finish the chances we had. Both of our goals were solid plays, not goals scored through flukes or good luck, which is always nice to see. They might complain that we beat them off a penalty last game, but they can’t say a thing about the goals we scored today, even if certain players and staff might have the nerve to do just that.

 

More importantly than how we played though, is what this game meant for the team, the supporters (including all of us), and Greece in general. Firstly, I can’t imagine a better way of ending our first season back. Sure, the championship would have been nice but that was obviously never an option. To win the Cup though, with players who were not too long ago playing with AEK in the third and second divisions of Greece, is an incredible accomplishment. And not only is it an accomplishment for the team, but it shows that AEK is finally back. Work still needs to be done, we’re nowhere near the level we can be, but the team we all know and love is finally back.

The win also means so much for us supporters of the teams, those of who love the team through the good times and the bad times, through all the wins and all the losses. Supporting AEK isn’t always easy, especially not in a country where everything seems stacked against you but we have no choice since this team means so much to us. We’ve supported this team through all the times we all hoped we would never see and so I have to say that, though this Cup is for the players, I feel like its also ours in a way. We don’t support this team looking for recognition since the support we give is unconditional, or at least I like to think that it is. Still, its nice to see some reward for all that we give whether its going to stadium every week, travelling to away games, waking up at ridiculous hours to watch the games in places like Australia, or just simply being a supporter even when first division football is still two years away.

For those of who had to follow the game away from Greece like I did, the videos in the links below are well worth a watch. They give just a tiny sample of what the atmosphere was like at Nea Filadelfeia tonight as the team bus carried the players through a sea of supporters. I remember being there after we won in 2011 and I would have given anything to have been there again tonight.

http://www.aek365.com/a-458635/kolash-sth-filadelfeia.htm

http://www.aek365.com/a-458654/magike-stigme-apo-th-nea-filadelfeia-fwto.htm

http://www.aek365.com/a-458653/to-epiko-video-tou-soiledh-panw-apo-to-poulman.htm

Greek Cup winners for the 15th time in our history. Take a moment if you can to let that sink in. It seems like just yesterday we were playing in the third division, slowly making our way back to where we belong. Now, after three years, we are finally back with the biggest statement we could have hoped for. Hopefully we’ll have plenty more Cups to celebrate in the years to come. Maybe even a championship or two.

PAOK 2-1 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, EPO, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Panathinaikos, PAOK, Playoffs with tags , , , , , on May 12, 2016 by alexaek

Possibly the worst start to the playoffs that we could have hoped for, dropping all three points as well as falling to third in the standings. We got lucky in considering Panathinaikos only managed to draw 1-1 with Panionios, but yesterday’s result certainly puts the pressure on us from an early stage.

I didn’t get to watch the match but I was able to follow the live commentary for much of it and sounded like a very uninspired performance for the most part. At one point we had barely over 25 percent of the possesion and while we managed to create a few decent chances, it seems like only a draw would have been a fair result. I have to give credit to PAOK for scoring two fantastic goals but its really too bad we couldn’t at least come away with the point. We went up first after Johansson tucked away a dropped ball by PAOK’s keeper just before half time, but I was never confident that we would hold on to the lead if what people were saying online was anything to go by. Its a shame really that we couldn’t put in a better performance considering the game was played behind closed doors. If we struggled this much in an empty stadium, I imagine we’re not going to be much better off when we’re playing in front of Panionios and Panathinaikos supporters.

A couple things worth noting from the game: You’ll notice if you watch the highlights below that we were originally awarded a penalty for a hand ball fairly early on, but it was unfortunately called back due to offsides. I have to admit, it seems like it was the right call. Also worth noting that both Barbosa and PAOK’s Katse got red cards after the match due to the standoff the two had which eventually led to an all out brawl between the two sides. The scene that transpired afterwards seems to sum up much of the game really, a game that was played with a lot of nerves and tension almost from the start.

 

If you’ve been wondering when the Cup final will be played, I unfortunately no concrete news to report. EPO came out and said that the final will take place on the 17th but at the moment that still can’t really happen. First of all, EPO has not yet agreed to either use foreign refs, or at least use Sidiropoulos’ usual team of assistants. In addition, NovaSports and all the teams involved would have to agree on some sort of change to the playoff schedule. As it stands, AEK would have to play a playoff game on the 15th, the Cup final on the 17th, and another playoff game on the 18th, something that for obvious reasons simply could not happen. Even if a change to the schedule were to happen, it would mean an almost unreasonable amount of games within such a short period of time for AEK, something that the team has said they are not on board with at the moment (and I can’t say I blame them).

In case you were wondering why the final couldn’t just happen in June once the playoffs have ended, you’ll have to keep in mind that with the Euro coming up, all league and cup play must be over by the end of May. As of now, the only way the final could be played after May would be if a exception were to be made by FIFA and UEFA, something which seems highly unlikely.