SL2 22/23: Apollon Smyrnis 1-1 Athens Kallithea

On a visit to promotion rivals Apollon Smyrnis, Giannis Loukinas’ first-half goal was canceled out by a late equalizer from the hosts, as AKFC took an important point from a 1-1 draw at Nea Smyrni Stadium in Matchday 12 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.

AKFC controlled the tempo from the start, and they would grab the lead in the 20th minute, when Omar Santana collected the ball in midfield and unlocked the defense with a perfectly weighted ball over the top. Orestis Tsintonis raced onto the ball and took it to the byline before pulling it back for the in-form Loukinas, who confidently took a touch around a defender and drove a shot past the ‘keeper for his team-leading sixth goal of the campaign.

Loukinas has put his name on the scoresheet in three consecutive matches and five of the last six matches, in a prolific start to his first season at the club.

Meanwhile, AKFC have now failed to score the opening goal just once on their current eight-match unbeaten run, and they would take their lead into half-time.

Early into the second half, Demethryus cut in from the left wing with two chances to make it 0-2, but he would miss the target in the 50th minute and 53rd minute, and the hosts were let off the hook.

As time ticked on, Apollon brought on extra attackers and poured forward in search of a goal, eventually finding a breakthrough in the 80th minute, when substitute Michaël Pereira served a cross into the box for Panagiotis Moraitis to head in his sixth goal of the season.

In the 84th minute, AKFC nearly went right back in front, but Panagiotis Kynigopoulos’ glancing header on a cross from the right wing would go just over the bar, and they would ultimately have to settle for a point, which was disappointing in light of missed chances to take maximum points yet a useful result in the context of the promotion chase.

AKFC return to action on Monday 30 January in Matchday 13 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.

Athens Kallithea (4-3-3): Strezos, Rentzas, Koltsidas, Vlachos, Vasiloudis (86’ Pereyra), Bouloulis, Santana (74’ Laskaris), Tsintonis (69’ Nili), Kynigopoulos, Loukinas (69’ Ioannidis), Demethryus (86’ Kyrgias)