-- Iraklis Breakdown Jimenez’s AEK --
GREEK SUPERLEAGUE - MATCHDAY 20
|Iraklis||2 - 2||AEK|
AEK lost crucial points in their bid to make the playoffs after they had to fight back from a goal behind to claim a 2-2 draw at Iraklis in a highly-entertaining SuperLeague Matchday 20 clash on Monday. Iraklis became the first team to score against AEK since Manolo Jimenez took over in January.
Manolo Jimenez’s side went into the match at the Kaftanzoglio stadium looking to keep in touch with the chasing pack and edge closer to fifth-placed Xanthi, but the result means the Kitrinomavri are now three points adrift of their rivals.
Having roared into a 19th-minute lead through Vargas clinical finish after an assist from Petros Mantalos on the counter attack, Iraklis battled back to move 2-1 ahead thanks to goals from Argentine forward Emanuel Perrone (39) and Portuguese midfielder Jorge Monteiro (64).
AEK drew level in the 76th minute when Iraklis goalkeeper Huanderson could only parry Sergio Araujo’s powerful shot into the path of Lazaros Christodoulopoulos, who slotted in the rebound.
AEK’s hopes of pinching the three points they desperately needed were dealt a blow eight minutes from time when the visitors were reduced to 10 men after defender Michalis Bakakis was dismissed for collecting a second booking for diving.
The visitors were then thankful for Leozinho’s wasteful finishing when the home striker fluffed a shot wide in added time which would have claimed a much-needed three-point haul for the struggling Thessaloniki team.
Iraklis, who are the first team to score on AEK since manolo Jimenez took charge, moved on to 14 points along with fellow strugglers Levadiakos, but they remain just one point above basement boys Veria.