Late Drama In Thessaloniki (Matchday 9 Recap)

Late Drama In Thessaloniki
(Matchday 9 Recap)

 

A goal five minutes into injury-time gave PAOK a crucial 1-0 win over AEK in the biggest fixture of Matchday 9 in the 2016/17 Greek SuperLeague. Vladan Ivic’s side had the better of the play in the weekend’s headlining match, though they had to wait until the very end with Leo Matos’ goal breaking the deadlock.

Olympiacos kept their lead atop the standings intact after a narrow 1-0 away win over Atromitos on Saturday. Panathinaikos got back to winning ways by beating Iraklis 2-0 as they warmed up for next week’s big derby against the champions and league leaders.

Larisa picked up an impressive home win as they took down Panionios 2-0 at home. Asteras Tripolis bounced back from defeat in Kerkyra last week to win 1-0 at home over Levadiakos

Elsewhere, two 0-0 draws rounded out the results. Xanthi and Kerkyra played out a goalless stalemate on Saturday while Veria and Platanias could also not find the net in their match in a scoreless affair.

On Monday, PAS Giannina completed a second half comeback to defeat Panetolikos.

*For the current SuperLeague standings click here or visit the Greek SuperLeague home page for more.


PAOK - AEK

PAOK 1 - 0 AEK
Leo Matos 90'+4'

A goal in the 95th minute by Leo Matos gave PAOK a priceless derby win over AEK in Toumba Stadium on Sunday night. It was a cruel finale for AEK, who despite selection problems, had frustrated PAOK all night and looked set to grab a point. But credit to PAOK for going until the end and coming up with a thrilling victory. 

AEK, who for the entire first half had offered no real attacking threat, nearly made it 1-0 late in the half. Rordrigo Galo’s cross was met by Hugo Almeida, but his side-footed effort went well over. Earlier, PAOK had threatened with Marin Leovac free-kick that was saved by Giannis Anestis. 

The second half saw PAOK still bossing the match and looking for the all-important goal. Diego Biseswar, Gojko Cimirot, and Garry Rodrigues all had chances with Anestis looking sharp in the AEK goal. Lazaros Christodoulopoulos found space on the left in the 70th and struck the top of the crossbar with a well-hit drive. AEK were finding some space and creating a little more than in the first half, but PAOK were always controlling proceedings and looking very dangerous going forward.

And just when all seemed destined for a 0-0 draw, PAOK won it deep into injury-time. Leo Matos found himself on the end of a flicked header and the Brazilian defender beat Anestis from close range to set off incredible scenes in the stadium. The final play that brought about goal did seem to come from a PAOK corner kick that was given wrongly after replays showed the ball going out first.

The victory puts PAOK into 3rd with 11 points, still 7 points behind Olympiacos, while AEK are on 11 points too, but drop to 4th on goal difference. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


ATROMITOS - OLYMPIACOS

Atromitos 0 - 1 Olympiacos
Ideye 54'

Brown Ideye’s 6th goal of the SuperLeague season led Olympiacos to a 1-0 win at Atromitos. Paulo Bento’s side enjoyed a fortuitous evening where a subpar display did not end up costing them. The defeat was the first for Giorgos Korakakis in the Atromitos dugout, though his side had the chances to come away with something from this match. 

Atromitos forward Milos Stojcev was guilty of squandering several chances for his side. Atromitos were the stronger team for most of the first 45 minutes, though Olympiacos grew into the match as the half wore on. Atromitos do have some complaints about the refereeing, specifically a couple of offside decisions and a debatable handball decision that went against them. 

Olympiacos rode their luck and Ideye struck what would ultimately go down as the decisive blow. On 54 minutes, Kostas Fortounis whipped in a left-footed cross from outside the box and an unmarked Ideye headed home his 6th of the season which puts him at the top of the league’s scorers list. Atromitos could never find the breakthrough as Olympiacos went to 18 points atop the standings while Atromitos remained at 10 points in 7th place.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


PANATHINAIKOS - IRAKLIS

Panathinaikos 2 - 0 Iraklis
Leto 58'
M'Poku 62'

After a first half where they missed in every conceivable way, two goals in a four-minute span after the break saw Panathinaikos defeat Iraklis 2-0. The two teams met a few days back in the Greek Cup and Iraklis frustrated the Prasini en route to a 0-0 draw. The same story seemed to be playing out in Sunday’s league match with Panathinaikos missing a series of first half chances.

The breakthrough however did arrive just before the hour. Sebastian Leto broke the deadlock with his 4th goal of the season to ease the pressure on Andrea Strammacioni’s side. Four minutes later, Marcus Berg stole the ball and Paul-Jose M’Poku raced in and produced a fine finish to make it 2-0. 

Iraklis looked a disjointed side, though perhaps they could have had a chance for something if Panagiotis Kynigopoulos didn’t waste a huge chance 12 minutes from the end. Iraklis remain rock-bottom with 2 points and are the clear relegation favorites after 7 matches. Panathinaikos meanwhile are in 2nd, four points off of leaders Olympiacos who they play in next week’s extremely important derby.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


LARISSA - PANIONIOS

Larissa 2 - 0 Panionios
Varela (p) 10'
Nazlidis 82'

Larisa ended a winless run of four matches in all competitions by defeating Panionios 2-0 at the AEL FC Arena. Nico Varela opened the scoring in the 10th minute from the penalty spot after he was taken down moments earlier by Manolis Siopis.

In an extremely rough first half it was of little surprise that both teams were reduced to 10 men on 22 minutes. Taxiarchis Fountas was tackled by Pol Hurtado and when both players lashed out at each other they were given their marching orders. 

The reduced numbers seemed to benefit Panionios, who for the remainder of the first half and start of the second were the better side. However, Larisa hung on and tacked on a second in the 81st minute thanks to Thomas Nazlidis’ free-kick. Panionios could only reply with a post minutes from the end coming from a Spyros Risvanis header.  Panionios with the defeat are in 5th on 10 points, while Larisa climb up to 11th on 8 points. 

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


ASTERAS TRIPOLIS - LEVADIAKOS

Asteras Tripolis 1 - 0 Levadiakos
Fernandez 9'

Antonio Donnarumma made the saves and Nicolas Fernandez scored the goal that gave Asteras Tripolis a 1-0 victory over Levadiakos on Sunday. It was the second win in three matches for Dimitris Elefteropoulos’ men as they have climbed out of the cellar in the league standings. 

Asteras made the better start in this match and were ahead just 10 minutes into the game. Fernandez expertly converted Nikos Kaltsas’ cross for the home to grab the early advantage. After that the entire half belong to Levadiakos who had four huge opportunities to find a goal. Two of those, that involved Levadiakos striker Vangelis Mantzios, saw Donnarumma produce brilliant saves to deny a goal in the 15th and 40th minutes. In-between Toni Silva contrived to miss the mark when he was in the goal box.

The second half saw both teams tire, perhaps due to midweek excursions in Cup action, and thus Asteras held on for the vital win.

Asteras rise out of the drop zone on goal difference (on 6 points along with Veria) while Levadiakos find themselves in 12th with 7 points.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


XANTHI - KERKYRA

Xanthi 0 - 0 Kerkyra

Xanthi and Kerkyra played out a 0-0 draw in Xanthi on Saturday. The scoreline should have been of no surprise as it was the two sides’ fourth consecutive scoreless tie. Brazilian Thuram was Kerkyra’s best player on the night, however he also proved to be the most disappointing as the forward missed a couple of superb chances. Thuram hit the post seven minutes before the half and should have done much better in the 72nd when he managed a glaring miss from a close range header.

Xanthi’s best opportunities fell to Younes Hamza, but the Tunisian also wasted two opportunities in the second half. Kerkyra perhaps had the edge as far as performance goes, however a draw was probably the fairest result. Xanthi move up to 8th (9 points) while Kerkyra drop a spot to 13th (7 points).

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


VERIA - PLATANIAS

Veria 0 - 0 Platanias

Coming into this match, Veria and Platanis both showed they had major problems scoring goals so the resulting 0-0 draw between the two on Sunday would have been no shock to observers in the know. Veria has scored only once in their last five matches, while Platanias have not found the back of the net since the second match of the season.

Both teams actually did manage to score in this match-up, but both efforts were ruled out. In the 7th minute Platanias thought they had the lead, but Fanouris Goundoulakis’ goal was correctly ruled out for offside. Just after halftime, the home fans were given reason to cheer as Mahamadou Sissoko headed Sisinio’s cross into the net, but the French defender was deemed offside. 

Veria stay in the drop zone on goal difference with the point while Platanias remain in 9th place (9 points).

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...


PANETOLIKOS - PAS GIANNINA

Panetolikos 1 - 2 PAS Giannina
Ferreyra 42' Maboulou 69', 80'

A brace  in the last 20 minutes by super-sub Christopher  Maboulou gave PAS Giannina a 2-1 come-behind-win over Panetolikos. PAS had the edge in a tight match in Agrinio however they were left to rue a string of missed chances as the home side took the lead towards the end of the first half towards through Ferreyra. 

PAS also had a first half goal incorrectly ruled out but Giannis Petrakis' side were able to mount a second half fight back that saw them continue their fine form. Maboulou  who came on in the second half equalized in the 69th minute, and the same player was on hand to fire home the winner 10 minutes from time. 

The win was Giannina's third straight and puts them into 3rd place with 13 points, behind Panathinaikos by a single point but also with a game at hand. Panetolikos with the defeat fall to 10th with 8 points.

*More on this match, including highlights, can be found here...

 
by: Giorgos Tsitsonis. Contact the writer at tsitsonisg.agonasport@gmail.com
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