Battle for playoff spot intensifying

Battle for playoff spot intensifying

The battle for second place in the 2018/2019 Football League is intensifying, with five teams in contention for a berth in the promotion/relegation playoff.

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This season, only the Football League winner earns direct promotion to the top flight, while the second best team takes on the 13th placed Super League club in a promotion/relegation playoff. Volos NFC have already confirmed their status of Football League champions, but the battle for second position is reaching its thrilling climax with Platanias, Apollon Larissa, Apollon Pontou, Ergotelis and Panachaiki all in the mix.

Let’s take a closer look at each team in the race for second place and potential Super League promotion:


The Cretans are the Football League’s form team. As a result of winning their past three matches in a row, Platanias have risen to second position, holding a slender one-point advantage over third-placed Apollon Larissa. They haven’t even conceded a single goal since losing 0:1 to Trikala in mid-March. On Saturday, Platanias will play lowly Aiginiakos in a match they should comfortably win, but their final three games are against Panachaiki, Apollon Larissa and Iraklis. Matches which can rightly be called six-pointers.

Remaining matches in 2018/2019 Football League

Aiginiakos (A)

Panachaiki (H)

Apollon Larissa (A)

Iraklis (H)

Apollon Larissa

Apollon Larissa have hit a poor run of form at the worst possible time. In their last six games, Apollon have only tallied the one victory, and that streak includes two defeats against Karaiskakis and Doxa Drama. All of a sudden, their task of qualifying for the promotion/relegation playoff has become a difficult one, but Larissa still only trail Platanias by a point and they will host the Chania club at home on matchday 29. That game promises to be the decisive fixture.

Remaining matches in 2018/2019 Football League

Trikala (H)

Volos NFC (A)

Platanias (H)

Irodotos (A)

Apollon Pontou

Similar to Larissa, Apollon Pontou have also hit a rocky patch, dropping two successive defeats against Apollon Larissa and Iraklis to fall three points behind Platanias. Last week, they were handed a walkover 3:0 win against the withdrawn Aittitos Spata, and a victory over Karaiskakis on Sunday is needed if they’re to remain in the hunt for second. Apollon Pontou will face two challenging matches with Doxa Drama and AO Chania Kissamikos in the final three rounds, while the game against relegated Sparti should be rather simple.

Remaining matches in 2018/2019 Football League

Karaiskakis (H)

Doxa Drama (A)

Sparti (A)

AO Chania Kissamikos (H)


When the season began, Ergotelis were one of the promotion favourites. Due to inconsistency, the club never made a realistic challenge for first position, however Ergotelis still possess enough quality with the likes of Joseph Efford, Giannis Iatroudis and Antonis Bourselis to make a bid for second spot. On matchday 26, Ergotelis were one minute away from a crucial victory at Apollon Larissa, but they conceded a last-gasp equaliser to drop two points in a 2:2 draw. They currently stand level with Apollon Pontou on 43 points apiece.

Remaining matches in 2018/2019 Football League

Iraklis (H)

Karaiskakis (H)

Aittitos Spata (A)*

Doxa Drama (A)

*Match awarded as 3:0 victory as Aittitos Spata withdrew from competition


It’s been a disappointing season for Panachaiki. The Patras organisation harboured serious hopes of earning promotion to the Super League, but with four rounds left, they are five points adrift of Platanias and haven’t won a match since the beginning of March. Panachaiki must beat champions Volos NFC at the weekend to give themselves a chance, and they will then play Platanias, Irodotos and AOK Kerkyra in the closing three matches. A maximum haul of points will apply pressure on the teams above them.

Remaining matches in 2018/2019 Football League

Volos NFC (H)

Platanias (A)

Irodotos (H)

AOK Kerkyra (A)

Current 2018/2019 Football League standings between 2nd and 6th position:

2. Platanias, 46 points

3. Apollon Larissa, 45 points

4. Apollon Pontou, 43 points

5. Ergotelis, 43 points

6. Panachaiki, 41 points


by Shaun Nicolaides

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