Ionikos and Thesprotos return to professional football, Historic ‘promotion’ for Triglia

Ionikos and Thesprotos return to professional football, Historic ‘promotion’ for Triglia

GAMMA ETHNIKI - PROMOTION PLAYOFFS (2ND LEG)

Date Home Team Score Away Team
12-May-19 Ionikos 2 - 0 Aiolikos
12-May-19 Chrisoupolis 0 - 1 PO Triglia
12-May-19 Thesprotos 2 - 0 Niki Volos

Ionikos and Thesprotos earned promotion to next year’s Football League and will return to the professional divisions after a long absence. Triglia upset Nestos Chrysoupolis on the road in what was a memorable day for the Halkidiki club.

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IONIKOS 2:0 AIOLIKOS (4:2, Agg)

Holding a slight advantage on away goals from their 2:2 draw in the first leg, Ionikos were the favorites to gain promotion over Aiolikos to next year’s Football League. The hosts got off to a great start and an own goal from Bouzouras put them ahead on 16 minutes. The home fans put together a great atmosphere at the Neapoli Stadium as the players showed great confidence on the pitch. A defensive mistake from Aiolikos proved costly in the 38th minute as Kouirakidis stole the ball and slotted past the goalkeeper to give Ionikos a comfortable two-goal lead.

In the second half, Aiolikos pressed on for a goal that would put them back into the game, but it never came as Ionikos held on for a 2:0 victory, 4:2 on aggregate. Ionikos were promoted to the Football League and will play professional football for the first time since 2011.

THESPROTOS 2:0 NIKI VOLOU (3:0, Agg.)

Thesprotos defeated Niki Volou for a second time and celebrated their place in next year’s Football League. The team from Igoumenitsa were the clear favorites heading into the second leg after defeating Niki Volou 0:1 on the road in the first leg.

The hosts, who were the better team in the 90 minutes of play, found the opener late in the first half through Bikas (43) and doubled their lead on aggregate. Despite falling to ten men just a minute later (Souliotis was sent off), Thesprotos controlled the pace of the game and assured ‘promotion’ when Bikas struck again with seven minutes remaining.

The 2:0 victory (3:0 on aggregate) sees Thesprotos return to professional football for the first time in 19 years! Niki Volou, once a Super League side, will compete in the fourth division next season.

NESTOS CHRYSOUPOLIS 0:1 TRIGLIA (0:1, Agg.)

Triglia will compete in the professional divisions for the first time in club history after their surprising 0:1 win over Nestos Chrysoupolis on the road. It was all to play for in Sunday’s second leg as the first match ended goalless in Halkidiki.

The visitors got off to a stronger start, but as the match went on, Nestos Chrysoupolis began to gain ground on the pitch. Against the run of play, however, Triglias struck first when Dunga converted a spot kick (a penalty which he won) two minutes before the stroke of half-time.

Knowing that only a win would do, Nestos Chrysoupolis went on the attack in the second half. The hosts created multiple chances to find the first of two goals needed, however it was not meant to be with Triglia holding onto their slender lead to secure their place in next year’s Football League.

 

by Peter Katsiris

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