On a rainy afternoon in Athens, AKFC took on the AEK Athens reserve side at AEK’s Serafidio training ground and came away with a 1-3 victory in Matchday 20 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
The win brings AKFC to within five points of first-place Kifisia with a game in hand, as Kifisia drew 1-1 with Proodeftiki on the day.
After fielding Panagiotis Kynigopoulos as a lone striker over the last three rounds, AKFC manager Georgios Simos made a tactical change to a 3-4-1-2 on Wednesday that reintroduced Giannis Loukinas up front, and the veteran striker would respond with a first-half brace, marking his seventh and team-leading-eighth goals of the campaign.
In the 17th minute, Demethryus, playing in the hold behind the strikers, sent a delightful ball over the top of the defense to spring Kynigopoulos free on goal, and he would square it to Loukinas for an easy tap-in to open the scoring.
In the 33rd minute, Javier Matilla delivered a free-kick that bounced around the box before Loukinas arrived to punch it in, and AKFC would take their 2-0 lead into half-time.
In the second half, AEK B made a push to get back into the match, and they would pull one back in the 70th minute when Bosnia youth international Vedad Radonja sent a looping header from a set piece up and over AKFC ‘keeper Panagiotis Vosniadis who had little chance.
But AKFC would keep their composure over the final 20 minutes, before Nikos Kainourgios put the result beyond doubt in the 90th minute, applying a firm header past the ‘keeper on another free-kick from Matilla.
With Loukinas’ second goal standing as the winner, he now has a total of six match-winners on the season, as AKFC’s promotion push rolls on.
Athens Kallithea (3-4-1-2): Vosniadis, Rentzas, Kyrgias, Vlachos, Weiss, Matilla, Santana (90’ Malçi), Kainourgios, Demethryus (70’ Bouloulis), Kynigopoulos (85’ Babis), Loukinas