Away goal sends Diagoras to Football League
GAMMA ETHNIKI - PROMOTION PLAYOFFS
|Kalamata||2 - 1 (AET)||Diagoras Rodou|
|(2 - 2*)
Diagoras Rodou fell 2:1 in extra time away to Kalamata, but gained promotion to the Football League thanks to their sole away goal.
Kalamata hosted Diagoras Rodou in their second leg clash in the Gamma Ethniki promotion playoffs with the islanders holding a narrow 1:0 advantage from last week’s first leg. The first half failed to produce a classic goal-scoring opportunity for either side and the teams went into the break goalless.
Two minutes after the restart, Kalamata found the goal they were looking through Giondis’ well placed header to level the score 1:1 on aggregate, however the same player was sent off for his celebrations and the hosts were forced to play a man down. The visitors then pressed on for the all important away goal and they came close in second half stoppage time, but Duala’s header was denied by the woodwork. Regulation ended 1:0 in favor of Kalamata (1:1 on aggregate) and the match was sent into extra time.
The visitors failed to score with two good opportunities in the opening period of extra time, however in the 114th minute, Bourlakis’ free-kick found the back of the net to bring the match level at 1:1. More importantly, Diagoras had the golden away goal meaning Kalamata had to win by a two-goal margin to gain promotion to the Football League.
The Mavri Thyella were left with nine men in the final minute of extra time when Carlos was sent off, but somehow were able to score with Markovic in the 120th minute to re-give Kalamata the lead. The 2:1 scoreline, though, was not enough for the Laconia side as Diagoras Rodou advanced on away goals (2:2) and will play in next year's Football League.
Diagoras are the fourth and final club to earn promotion from the Gamma Ethniki playoffs after Triglia, Thesporotos, and Ionikos booked their ticket to next season’s new, all-improved third tier.