A dominant performance produced just one goal, but it was enough to get a result, as a long-range strike from Omar Santana was the difference in a 1-0 win over Veria, sending Athens Kallithea FC through to the Round of 16 of the Greek Cup for the first time since the 2012/13 season.
Although AKFC controlled the ball from the start and produced several early chances for an opening goal, Veria ‘keeper Giannis Papadopoulos made exceptional saves on two headers from Anthony Mounier and Giannis Loukinas and a bullet first-time shot from Nili Perdomo to keep the match scoreless. But they would find the breakthrough just before the half-time whistle — in the 44th minute, midfielder Omar Santana finally beat Papadopoulos with a long-range shot that surprised the ‘keeper and gave AKFC the lead.
Veria came out for the second half with energy and had a good spell for nearly a quarter of an hour, but AKFC absorbed the pressure without conceding any clear chances. AKFC manager Leonidas Vokolos brought on Demethryus in the 57th minute followed by Flosard Malçi, Pavlos Laskaris and Theocharis Natsis between the 73rd minute and 82nd minute as the team gradually reasserted control over the match.
AKFC survived a scare in stoppage time when Veria went off the post with their first real chance of the match, but with that the match was over and Santana’s goal stood as the difference in a deserved 1-0 win.
Athens Kallithea (4-4-2): Strezos, Vasiloudis, Chatzidimpas, Evaggelou, Rossi, Bouloulis, Santana (Natsis 82’), Mounier (Demethrys 57’), Nili (Malçi 73’), Kynigopoulos, Loukinas (Laskaris 82’)