Archive for Iraklis

Iraklis 2-2 AEK

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Jimenez with tags , , , on February 14, 2017 by alexaek

Important points dropped in Thessaloniki

Well, the good news is that we remain unbeaten under Jimenez. Bad news, though, is that we desperately needed all three points from yesterday’s game. Unfortunately, we only came away with one which keeps us three points away from a playoff spot.

Possibly the worst part about the result yesterday would have to be the fact that we could have come away with a win had our goaltending been tighter. The first goal was a tough one, and I could see any keeper missing that from time to time. The second goal for Iraklis though should never have happened and with some more careful goaltending Iraklis never even would have had a chance on the play. I find it even more frustrating that Barkas would commit such an awful mistake after almost conceeding on an earlier mistake.

The way I look at all this though is that I’d rather see it happen against Iraklis than against Olympiakos this weekend. Hopefully Barkas would have learned some valuable lessons from yesterday, as I’m sure he will, so that we have every chance we can of getting a good result on sunday.

 

AEK 0-0 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2016 by alexaek

A massive opportunity for AEK to make a statement was wasted earlier today when we failed to even sneak a win past Iraklis. Why was one game such an opportunity? Well if you haven’t seen the other results from the league yet, something pretty spectacular happened this weekend. It started when PAOK’s home game with Xanthi ending in a 0-0 draw before PAO saw a similar fate after their game against Panaitolikos also ended 0-0. Then, even more surprising than both those results, Olympiakos lost 1-0 in Larissa. Could the situation have become any better for us? We had the perfect chance to go alone in first place, all we had to do was beat Iraklis at home.

Ah but this is AEK we’re talking about, the team that has made a habit of making the easy tasks difficult. To be fair the absence of Mantalos and Almeida really hurt us, but to not even manage a goal when we needed one so badly really doesn’t sit well with me. Its still very early in the season and we’re still ahead of both PAOK and Olympiakos, but I really felt going into this season that we had a team that wouldn’t drop points in games like these. Don’t get me wrong, Iraklis is never a team that can be taken lightly, but we should be winning these games, especially when they matter so much. With the derby in Karaiskaki coming up this weekend, the three points from today would have helped us immensely. I know its asking a lot, but can you imagine if we won today and managed to sneak a win in Karaiskaki also, causing the reds to drop six points in two games? That would have felt pretty good if you ask me.

As for today’s game, I didn’t get to watch it since I was at work. It seemed to have followed a similar pattern to what I expected though: AEK controlling most of the game, creating some decent chances but not being able to put anything in the back of the net, with an Iraklis who was happy to sit back and take the occasional counter attack. It was an unfortunate result, but it gives Ketsbaia some food for thought. First of all, it sounds like Pekhart showed exactly why he isn’t considered a starter on the team. It also shows that somethings needs to be re-worked if we are to be more effective in front of goal. I know we really missed Mantalos and Almeida, but we should have some composure and creativity in and around the 18 yard box than we seemed to have today. The way Vargas and Bakasetas were linking up today at the front of our midfield just wasn’t working and its definitely a part of the pitch Ketsbaia will have to work out if Mantalos isn’t back in time for the derby this weekend.

An unfortunate result and a disappointing performance, but its still early. If anything this weekend showed that this seasons might at least be a little less predictable than usual. Olympiakos are clearly beatable with the right game plan (promising for us this weekend) and the other two still aren’t at their best yet either. Could it be close all the way to the end of the league? I certainly wouldn’t mind that for a change.

Highlights can be seen at Novasport’s site.

AEK 4-0 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players with tags , , , , , , , on August 13, 2016 by alexaek

A convincing 4-0 win today for us in what was our last friendly before the start of the season. The match got off to a pretty slow start with little noteworthy action in the first half but that all changed when we scored 4 goals between the 49th and 71st minute.

I only managed to catch the last ten minutes of the match but from what I could see, it looks like we might be in for some good performances from Patito. Its still early but I’m already starting to see some similarities with Scocco (and I’m not the only one who has been seeing this). Hes the kind of player we’ve been lacking recently, especially after Buonannotte never managed to settle into the team.

Almeida is also starting to impress people, especially after scoring two goals in two friendlies (he also scored in our 2-1 friendly win against Trikala during the week). If his form keeps up, then I think we might just have one of the most effective offenses in the league. Afterall, we still have Aravidis, Pekhart, and Bakasetas as well up front with Patitio, Barbosa, Mantalos, and Vargas providing support behind them. There really aren’t many offenses in the league that I can think of which could compete with that.

Unfortunately I haven’t been able to find a good quality highlight video from the game, so these recordings from someone’s screen will have to do for now.

Almeida’s great header for the 1st goal:

The 2-0 from Mantalos:

Beautifully taken header from Pekhart for 3-0:

4-0 from Bakasetas:

Iraklis 1-1 AEK Match Report

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Basketball, Derby, Greek Super League with tags , , , , , , , on February 21, 2016 by alexaek

I finally have some time to sit down and write up a report on the rather dull game we had yesterday. As I mentioned in my brief post from yesterday, much of the pitch was flooded from heavy rains in Thessaloniki which continued through the match. As can be expected the game was unable to get into any sort of a rhythm pretty much from kickoff, with players being forced to pretty much lift the ball forward any time they wanted to attempt a run. Also to be expected was the fact that most chances would be coming from set plays, of which there were many though few ever ended up looking dangerous.

I found it funny that after the game, players from both teams were saying their team deserved the win though with conditions the way they were and no team really managing to exert any control over the game, I felt as though a draw was always going to be a fair result. We had a couple of half-chances but I actually feel as though Iraklis came closer to taking the win if anything. They forced a great save from Baroja while the match was still level at 0-0 and had an amazing opportunity missed right in front of the net very late in the game.

Its hard to really comment on how individual players performed since there was no way for them to really play the way they would have normally. All things considered, we did alright since from games like this its mostly a matter of defending and forcing the ball upfield until a foul or corner is called. I do feel though that its worth pointing out that for the second game in a row, Arzo actually wasn’t too bad. Some of his clearances scared me at times but aside from that he actually seemed to be doing what was needed of him. With a big game coming up next week against PAO, now would be a great time for him to either continue his good form or lift his game even more.

Baroja also had a good game for the most part though he certainly could have done better on the goal we conceded. I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt since games like this, with mud all over the place and balls that are hard to grab on to, it was always a possibility that one would slip by. Aside from the goal he did well to make a big save earlier on and managed to handle everything that was thrown at him. Pekhart also deserves credit for scoring on his first start for AEK, especially since his header was very well taken. Its still early but if he manages to get into some type of rhythm scoring goals like that, I can see him becoming a very important player. We haven’t really seen yet what he has to offer in terms of runs or shots, but if he can make his presence felt in the box like he did yesterday, then I really look forward to seeing what he can offer once hes spent some more time with the team.

While its unfortunate we didn’t come away with the win, we did manage to get off lightly as Panathinaikos dropped points at home to PAOK earlier today. They were up 2-0 at one point but PAOK managed to come back and level the score at 2-2. The result keeps us four points ahead of PAO and with their form being so poor so far and our home form for derbies in 2016 being pretty consistent, I’m confident we’ll be able to get the win and open up the gap even more.

 

In other AEK news, our basketball team won a close game against a resilient Kifissia, almost undoing all the hard work we did in the third period to go so far ahead in the score. In the end, we did enough to hold onto the win with a final score of 76-73. It was a crucial win since it keeps us ahead of Aris by one point going into our game with them next weekend. We tend to struggle with Aris lately and they have a phenomenal record at home, but I know we have a team that is capable of beating them. Whether we can beat them or not really depends on how we play since we have been rather inconsistent this season but I’m really hoping we manage to sneak away what could possibly be our biggest win of the season to hold onto third place and even widen the gap a little.

Iraklis 1-1 AEK

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

Playing on a pitch that quite resembled the one in the video below, we managed to sneak away with one point after a fairly dull match. A fair result for both teams I feel considering the conditions and to be honest, we could have even gone down 2-1 late in the game had Iraklis managed to put away a great chance they had.

I’ll be away from my PC for the day but will try to get a match report up either tonight or tomorrow morning at the latest. Stay tuned for that.

Oh and for those who haven’t heard, as gtmanleg commented on my previous post we’ll be playing Atromitos for the semi-finals of the Cup. Interesting matches coming up with some close games very possible. More on that later as well.

AEK Through to Cup Semi-Finals

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Derby, Draw, Greek Cup, Greek Football, PAOK with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 4, 2016 by alexaek

It wasn’t the easiest of wins for us today as Iraklis proved to be quite determined for a goal, but we managed to do enough for a 0-1 win. Of course, this now puts us at 9 wins out of 9 games so far in 2016, a stat which I find reassuring going into four very difficult league games.

Today’s win was very much a formality as we almost all but guaranteed our progress to the next round, but I was glad Poyet took the time to give our new signings some playing time. Zuculini started the match and from what I read did a pretty decent job for his first appearance of the season. Generally, we were holding back quite a bit in the first half so there were only so many opportunities for him to get involved but judging from the commentary I was following, he looked promising every time he was involved with a play.

Pekhart also got some time on the pitch, though he came on as a sub for Buonanotte later in the match. Hard to say how he looked since he came on so late, but hopefully we’ll be seeing more of him this weekend.

Our only goal was scored by Mantalos, the second goal in a row for him now. The finish was well taken but what really made the goal one worth watching is the passing that led up to it. Its the kind of passing that I feel really highlights why we’ve been doing so well under Poyet. Both Buonanotte and Djebour, the two involved with setting up the goal, took the extra second to seek out the better pass rather than simply passing the ball forward and hoping it leads to a chance. If we can play like this against Olympiakos and PAO, we can definitely do some damage.

Unfortunately, we did not really manage to make our mark on the game despite creating some chances, though its understandable. We had the game wrapped up before it started and we have some big games coming up so I understand if Poyet wanted the team to take it easy and not go all out if they didn’t have to. It was too bad to see Soiledis be subbed off so early though with what seems to be a pulled muscle.

We finally got to see Baroja return to action as Poyet decided to give Anestis a well earned break, and I found this promising to see. It gives me the impression that Poyet really does take Anestis seriously and considers him an option for starting keeper, something I was worried wouldn’t happen.

All in all we got the result we needed and we’ve booked our place in the semi-finals of the cup. Still to early to tell who we’ll be facing in the next round as the draw isn’t until next week, but there’s definitely the possibility we could be facing either PAOK, PAO, or Olympiakos. At this point I can’t see Olympiakos not making it to the final and even though I don’t want to get ahead of myself, there’s nothing I would love to see more than us get our revenge against them in the final. We’ll find out for sure either way at the draw next week.

Highlights for the game can be watched below:

AEK 4-1 Iraklis

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Greek Cup with tags , , , , , on January 28, 2016 by alexaek

Our second important win against a team from Thessaloniki in less than a week, a win which pretty much ensures we make it to the semifinal of the Cup. It was a game that had its fair share of excitement with an own goal being scored, Bakakis getting a red card early on, and the game being called off for a few minutes while the ref waited for the supporters to calm down. Despite all the commotion and going a man down from so early on though, we showed great character too not only hold on for the win, but to score three more goals.

While the refereeing left much to be desired today, our performance was very encouraging and I cant help but credit Poyet for setting the team up so well and reacting well to Bakakis’ red. I was a bit disappointed to see him take of Buonanotte so early on, but the decision to take him off and put Galo at right back was one that had to be made. We were only 1-0 up at that point and conceding then would have really altered the game. Iraklis also switched to a formation with two designated forwards as the game progressed proving Poyet’s substitution to be even more crucial.

It was great to see the team play seemingly unaffected by the red card and react in such a positive way. I was following the game on live commentary and I was so worried that we would hold back onto the 1-0 lead as we did against PAOK over the weekend but there was no sign of that today.

With every game I like Poyet more and more (though as our performances continue to improve, I get more and more worried that he’ll get picked up by another team this summer). I was worried when we first signed him that he would favour our foreign players over the Greeks in the squad but hes constantly shown that its not the case at all. Today’s starting XI for example contained seven Greeks and the fact that hes playing so many Greeks at this stage of the Cup really reassures me that he has faith in our Greek players. All I can for now is that games like today give him the confidence to start players like Kolovetsios and Lambropoulos in the league more often. I’ll be very interested to see who Poyet goes with for centre back this weekend against Veria. With Atromitos and Olympiakos coming up, this weekend is essentially Poyet’s only chance to experiment a bit more with centre back options before it really matters.

The match today really made it clear yet again that we desperately need to sign another attacker. Sure we scored four goals and showed great movement going forward, but one of those goals was an own goal, one was scored by a centre back, one was a deflection of a shot by a midfielder, and one was a penalty. For yet another game, not one of our goals has come from one of our strikers. In fact, looking back on recent games, the last time one of our forwards scored a goal was five games ago when Aravidis scored against Xanthi. We’ve done great to score and win these past seven games in a row, but we really need forwards who are able to get in the right positions and finish well. I can only hope that we sign someone who can do this job for us soon because we have some tough games coming up, especially if we make to the next round of the Cup.

Highlights can be seen here:

As well, MONOAEK24’s channel on youtube has also uploaded the whole game again for those who missed it. I’ve just watched the first half and will be watching the second half later tonight. I really hope they keep this up, its great being able to watch the game afterwards on days when I’m at work.