Kampetsis saves Panathinaikos blushes
GREEK SOCCER CUP - MATCHDAY 2
|Panathinaikos||2 - 2||Ierapetra|
Panathinaikos were heading for a shock defeat to Ierapetra in the Greek Cup, but a last gasp equaliser from Argyris Kampetsis stole a 2:2 draw at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
Having defeated Panetolikos 1:0 on matchday one in the competition, Panathinaikos head coach Giorgos Donis predictably fielded a young line-up, with the average age of the starting 11 being a mere 22 years, 3 months and 25 days. Until the fourth minute of stoppage time, Donis’ decision was backfiring against stubborn Gamma Ethniki outfit Ierapetra, but Kampetsis thumped the ball into the open net after the visiting goalkeeper failed to gather a looping cross to salvage a 2:2 draw.
Things initially went to plan for Panathinaikos. On 20 minutes, Ilias Chatzitheodoridis opened the scoring at the OAKA, twisting to a shooting position outside of the penalty area and curling a low, powerful effort under the outstretched goalkeeper. Nevertheless, underdogs Ierapetra surprisingly got on level terms just five minutes later, as Kevin Hysi touched a pinpoint cross from the right wing beyond Konstantinos Kotsaris.
Ierapetra weren’t finished there either. With half time looming, the visitors took a shock lead, with Vangelis Anastasopoulos tapping home at point blank range.
As expected, Panathinaikos laid siege to the Ierapetra goal in the second half, creating a number of excellent chances and denied by brilliant goalkeeping. On the counterattack, Ierapetra came close to a third marker, but Anastasopoulos couldn’t beat Kotsaris when clean through.
The away side were edging towards a famous win in the Greek capital, but with the final kick of the game, Kampetsis struck gold to save Panathinaikos’ blushes.
Panathinaikos occupy joint first place of Group 3 with four points, while Ierapetra are rock bottom with one. The two leaders, AO Chania Kissamikos and Panathinaikos, meet in the concluding group match with both requiring a point to seal qualification to the Last 16.
HIGHLIGHTS: PANATHINAIKOS - IERAPETRA