OFI claim valuable point at Aris in thriller
SUPER LEAGUE - MATCHDAY 1
Aris dropped points against OFI on the first matchday of the 2019/2020 Super League, as the Cretan visitors held on to claim a valuable 1:1 draw at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium.
As expected, Aris boasted the majority of possession and created plenty of chances, but they had to be content with a draw after Lucas Sasha cancelled out an early goal scored by OFI’s Miguel Mellado. Nicolas Diguiny had earlier missed a penalty for Aris in the second half.
Aris will play newly promoted Volos NFC on the road next week, while OFI take on Panathinaikos at the Olympic Stadium in Athens.
Both teams passed up golden opportunities in the opening stages. At point blank range, Juan Neira contrived to miss the target for OFI, before Nicolas Martinez smashed the bar at the other end.
OFI struck first in the 18th minute.
Lurking on the edge of the penalty area, Mellado connected with a looping cross, subsequently whacking a firm attempt under debutant Aris goalkeeper Fabian Ehmann.
Searching for a response, both Brown Ideye and Diguiny had promising chances for Aris in the last knockings of the first half, however they couldn’t strike gold. The Video Assistant Referee (VAR) system was then needed to prove that Giorgos Delizisis didn’t deserve a red card for a sliding challenge.
Aris came out all guns blazing in the second half. When pouncing on a rebound, Ideye looked certain to score, but he brushed the ball against the crossbar.
The hosts definitely should have scored in the 57th minute. Following a foul against Ideye in the penalty area, Diguiny stepped up to the mark for Aris, but the Frenchman slid his ensuing spot-kick wide.
Nevertheless, despite the signs beginning to suggest it was OFI’s day, Aris did eventually score their equaliser with 21 minutes remaining.
Completing a flowing passing play, Sasha gave OFI goalkeeper Dimitris Sotiriou no chance with a rasping, accurate shot which went in with the help of the right post.
With four minutes left on the clock, OFI came close to an unlikely win, as Ismail Sassi escaped the Aris defence only to shoot wide when he should really have done better.