Archive for UEFA

AEK in the Round of 32!

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football with tags , , , , , , on December 7, 2017 by alexaek

After finishing the group stages undefeated, AEK are in the Europa League Round of 32! Its worth remembering too that this was our first time playing in the group stages of a European Cup since before we fell to the 3rd division.

Management and the team both deserve credit for what they accomplished since even though we might not have won as many games as we would have liked, it was a solid performance in the group stages that even brought us close to beating Milan twice. The performance is especially impressive when you consider that we are the only team in our group not to lose a match after Milan’s loss to Rijeka today.

Today’s match which confirmed our progression to the next round was a 0-0 draw away against Austria Wien. Not entirely impressive on its own, but the team did well to do what they set out to do and come away with at least a point. There were some chances for both sides but it sounds like Wien rarely seemed likely to finish with a win.

Worth noting from the highlight reel below is Araujo’s chance in front of goal but also the open net missed by Wien when Tsintotas punched it straight at the opposition.

 

Of course, the hard part begins now. The draw for the next round takes place on Monday next week, and its safe to say that it could go either way. On the one hand we might be drawn against clubs like Villareal, Atletico Madrid, Arsenal, Lazio, or CSKA. On the other hand, we could get a little “lucky” and get drawn against a club like Red Bull Salzburg, Lokomotiv, or Viktoria Plzen. To be honest, none of the teams we could face will be easy, its just a matter of how hard it will be to get past. But hey, crazier things have happened and afterall, everyone thought Milan would easily walk through the group but we ended up giving them a run for their money both home and away. Regardless of how the draw goes, I couldn’t be more excited to see AEK in this stage of a European Cup again!

One last thing worth noting: without Olympiakos making it out of their group, we are the last Greek club standing. Aside from bragging rights, this also means we get a larger amount of the market share from UEFA which can only be a good thing.

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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!

AEK 4-0 Larissa

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Football with tags , , , , , , , , , , on December 12, 2010 by alexaek

Lovely 4-0 score, Blanco (twice), Libe, and DELLAS all on the scoreboard, such a great site to see! Blanco’s form has been incredible lately and now that Zorro is back it feels like a day hasn’t passed since three years ago.

Unfortunately, we still sit a fair bit back from the top. However, what is important is that we took care of getting a positive result against a team who has always been a bit of a struggle for us. We didn’t play the best football we’ve seen all season long, but we turned things on when we needed to, took advantage of having an extra player, and made sure didn’t slip points like we did last week.

Arabatzis started in net and did well. He’s been looking quite solid in the air lately, rarely fails when he commits to the ball and I can’t complain with him at all. We needed him to be in top form seeing as Larissa came to the game with the intention of picking up some points. They created a number of decent chances, particularly in the first, which fortunately for us resulted in nothing.

I’m going to hold back on commenting much on individual players since my stream wasn’t the greatest, but I did notice a huge improvement in our play when Lagos and Kafes came on in exchange for Leonardo and Scocco. Scocco was busy upfront from what I saw, though the addition of Kafes and Lagos to the match seemed to improve our attack as a whole. Leonardo created little from what I saw, but I did miss alot so I don’t want to be too hard on the guy.

The referee was horrendous today, to the point where I was starting to feel quite outraged (well, not quite but I was certainly irritated). I can only imagine what everyone in the stadium was feeling. Unfortunately, only around 6,000 showed up for the match however as it was a very cold weekend in Athens (from the pictures I saw it looks like they received a decent amount of snow for so early in December). Hopefully we’ll see a better attendance figure at the match with Zenit, despite the late start time of 10:00 at night (well done UEFA, well done).

Also, it’s worth noting that Jimenez was kicked out of the match today and forced to watch much of it from the stands. He was off when the substitutions were made however it looked like he was still contacting his assistants on the pitch.

So, a decent performance, yet a fantastic result. Hopefully this gives us a confidence boost ahead of our critical match with Zenit!

As always, leave comments below. I would appreciate any as it is hard to watch these matches with such poor streams available!

AEK 1-2 Olympiakos

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, Europa League, football, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by alexaek

Well, there has been quite a bit of discussion in the post AEKBaltimore put up. Since the match alot has happened, most regarding the horrendous officiating at the match. But first, a review.

For everyone who has been following AEK you know how incredibly unlucky we tend to be, especially when it matters most. We saw that once again many times during this match. For the first forty minutes we pressured constantly except for a few counter attacks by Olympiakos. We dominated in terms of passing and we were all over the pitch, including in their own box. However, as is typical with AEK, we saw chance after chance but no goals were produced. How we continuously manage to do this really puzzles me. After all, we do have SCOCCO, BLANCO, and NEMETH up front. Just hearing those names together should send shivers down the spines of any defenders in Greece. But they still can’t manage to score more than one goal each game. What happened to the times when we would win most games by scores of 4-0 I will never know.

Obviously we never did manage to capitalize on our chances and when this happens the opposition is bound to score a goal before us. And, of course, that happened. The first Olympiakos goal came late in the first, scored by Torosidis (who is in incredible form right now). Of course, the goal came at a horrible time for both the players and the fans.

So, after many chances for us and one or two for them the score was AEK 0-1 Olympiakos at half time. Nonetheless, AEK came out strong in the second half once again producing some fine chances to score. Yet once again we could not get that final touch, just to knock the ball a little bit further and into the net. Instead, Olympiakos scored again, and again the goal was scored by Torosidis.

Our boys kept trying hard but only managed to score one goal, by Nemeth. Not enough even to salvage one point.

By the time the game had ended AEK had fifteen chances on goal compared to Olympiakos’ three (it might have been slightly higher). That statistic proves two things. Firstly, our forwards need to start scoring more and capitalizing on chances or else we will be drawing or loosing at home to teams like Kavala and Panthrakikos. Secondly, it is clear that our defence could be much stronger. When a team managed to score two goals from three or four solid chances clearly the defence needs to tighten up.

Now, time for the player reviews. Saja did not have much to do this game really, and the goals he let in were not his fault, especially the second one. Other than that, not much more can be said about him, though he made some incredible saves once again which helped to keep us in the game.

Araujo was absolutely incredible, and easily one of our best players on the pitch. His defending was as solid as it could be, he was everywhere he could be, his ball control was spectacular, and the runs he made left Olympiakos players only staring after him.

Both Majstorovic and Jahic were average at best. Although we now have Nemeth, we clearly miss Kyrgaikos’ presence back there. We are still horrible in the air when defending corners and free kicks for the opposition. But they are still strong players and will do… for now.

Juanfran was horrible! It was disgusting to see him play for us. He provided nothing to the team. All his runs were predictable which made him easy to defend. He provided few good passes, he was slow, he could not defend, and it was his poor marking which made Torosidis’ first goal an easy one to knock in. Rumors are saying Georgeas might start at left back. I personally wouldnt even mind if Pavlis, or even Arabatzis start at left back. Anyone but Juanfran. It’s incredible that he receives far more than Saja or Blanco and has a nice contract to satisfy him (all thanks to Demis).

Makos was sub par. He did little this match and he defended Torosidis poorly on his second goal (had he tackled Torosidis though, he most likely would have received a red card because of his previously recieved yellow, a card he should not have gotten). I think we should still keep Makos, but perhaps give a month or two with the youth team and see how he improves. He’s a good guy, a good player to have on a team, but his level of football just simply isn’t good enough for what AEK needs.

Kafes was good, nothing special, but a solid player, had some chances on goal and overall a fine player. Not much more to say about him.

Geurreiro played a fantastic match. His fitness still isn’t one hundred percent but his ball controll and passing are all excellent. A fabulous player to have on our squad and once his fintess improves he will be a key player, if he isn’t already. He also likes to prompt the fans to cheer which is always a great thing to see from a player on the pitch.

Ah Blanco, whats happening? Two years top scorer now only one goal. Although, for some reason, Blanco was playing on the wings for this match. I have no clue who ordered him to play there but it is not his position. He is a goal scorer and little else. Im fine with that, its why we have him. He is no Rivaldo or Scocco. He has some decent ball control and mediocre passing skills but the wing should be players like Guerriero. Nonetheless, good old Ismael worked hard all game and was all over the pitch and had some decent chances on goal. I still have faith in him. Who knows, maybe this weekend we will start to see some signs of the Blanco we know. Especially with Nemeth gone for a while and an open spot in the centre again.

Nemeth was fantastic. He had so many chances on goal, some really easy ones I must say, but was unlucky not to score more than one goal. He worked hard and played with passion, clearly wanted the win, which is a great thing to see. Not much more to say, he is a fantastic player (but the whole world already knows that) and we are lucky to have him if only for a year.

Scocco played a good game. He didnt do as much in terms of creating chances but his ball control was fantastic and he managed to get past many Olympiakos players before he would eventually be pulled down by a dirty tackle.

Our substitutes, Leonardo, Manduca, and Pavlis, provided little for the team. Manduca wasted many chanes, and both Pavlis and Leonardo showed nothing special.

Highlights video below:

Now, for the officiating. It was horrendous. The calls made against us, and the calls not made for us were incredible.

This video below shows some of the main ones:

PAE AEK has stated that if the ref is not punished they will take the match to UEFA so it can be reviewed properly. I truly hope this happens. The ref has apologized for the mistakes he made but what difference does it make? None.

The damage is done, and whether it really was an accident or the ref is really that poor or the calls not made were intentionally not called cannot be proved right now. Either way, the officiating is just horrible in Greece or refs are being bribed. Seeing as this has been going on in Greece for years, and corruption occurs at every level in the society of Greece, I would not be surprised at all if it was corruption. Why other people find it so hard to believe I cannot understand. It has happened in Italy, France, Portugal, Albania, Greece, and many other countries in Europe. And these are only the cases that have been proven. Until anything is proven though here in Greece we will continue to play games against refs who seem to be determined to make sure our team does not win. There is only so much we can do at this moment in time.

Now, we have another huge derby in only a day, and after that we play Benfica midweek. Huge games. Whether we are ready for the or not I do not know. Either way, this is AEK, and we support AEK win or loose. This weekend will be a tough match but despite our loss against Olympiakos we showed alot of promise, especially in terms of passing as well as creating chances. Also, PAO will have Cisse and Karagounis more than likely on the bench, as well as other players who will be out due to injuries. Seeing as both teams have decent defences at best but strong attacking players I would not be surprised to see a few goals scored this game. Hopefully, we come out with more than PAO.

By the way, AEK play Thrasivolous for our first Greek Cup game.

One More Day Folks.

Posted in AEK, AEK Athens FC, AEK Players, football, Greek Cup, Greek Football, Greek Soccer, Greek Super League, Non-AEK Football/Soccer, Soccer with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 22, 2009 by alexaek

So, only one more day of waiting before the big game, the one game we all wait for all summer. AEK-Olympiakos, one of the most well known fixtures in Greek football. Unfortunately though, and as much as I hate to say it, I think our chances of winning are very slim. The best result I can see for us is a draw. Nonetheless, this is a derby, and as last year’s Cup Final proved, anything can happen at this derby. Either way, I see goals being scored, as they normally are (unlike the Panathinaikos-Olympiakos derby, where both teams tend to play very cautiously, hardly taking chances), and still, I wont rule out a victory for us because, literally, anything is possible at this game.

Unfortunately, I wont be surpirsed if we see some trouble at this match. Tension will be high in the stadium due to the recent Kyrgiakos transfer and generally with the way the team has been run. Original21 wrote on the walls of the AEK offices, saying “Patience is over”. Of course, nothing will be solved by causing violence, however, I still excpect we will see some.

Sportingreece.com are predicting a couple of results for this game. I believe the 2-2 draw is quite possible.

A review of the Vaslui-AEK match can be found here.

The Kyrgiakos transfer is everywhere on the web, including http://www.uefa.com and http://www.fifa.com frontpages. It is definately one of the largest transfers involving a Greek in Greek football history and has gained attention from aroud the world. The Liverpool fans on some online forums are saying some funny things such as “He’s one of the 300 Spartans”, “He was raised on an island and defended the island from predators”. Good to hear many people are positive about this transfer and I hope he can do well in England. There is a good chance he will start on Monday.

As for the transfer, AEK have recieved a list from Liverpool of available players to loan and Thanopoulos is in Liverpool right now looking for our two players. Some fairly big names are included in the list.

AEK will also play two friendlies with Liverpool, one in Anfield, and on in OAKA. AEK will recieve all of the profit from the two friendlies.

Bajevic is looking at some more players even now, as the transfer deadline approaches.

UEFA Against Match Fixing

Posted in football, Soccer with tags , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by alexaek

UEFA will be strengthening its forces against match fixing and corruption in European Football.

UEFA and Yahoo both have articles describing the plans.