After a dominant first-half performance produced just one goal, AKFC executed airtight team defending through the second half to secure a 1-0 victory over visiting Proodeftiki at Grigoris Lamprakis Stadium on Friday afternoon in Matchday 17 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
The win extends AKFC’s unbeaten streak at El Paso to 15 matches (14 wins, 1 draw) dating back to March 2022.
In the 7th minute, AKFC survived an early scare when a Proodeftiki corner was met with a bullet header that seemed destined for the top corner, but right-back Vasilios Rentzas would heroically clear off the line.
A flurry of AKFC chances would soon follow. In the 12th minute, defender Konstantinos Koltsidas’ close-range effort was tipped off the crossbar. In the 14th minute, left-back Nikos Kainourgios swung a perfect cross into the box that Demethryus would head just over the bar. In the 15th minute, striker Panagiotis Kynigopoulos’ header on Omar Santana’s cross from the right wing was stopped by the ‘keeper Lefteris Astras.
But they would finally break through in the 22nd minute. The move started with midfielder Javier Matilla megging a defender to slip the ball into Kynigopoulos. With his back to goal, Kynigopoulos laid the ball off to Demethryus who deftly played the one-two and Kynigopoulos would clip the return pass past the charging ‘keeper to put AKFC in front.
Kynigopoulos would have two glorious chances to extend the lead before half-time, but he was denied by a remarkable diving save from Astras in the 34th minute and then would flash a shot just wide of the post in a 1-v-1 with Astras in the 36th minute, as AKFC took their 1-0 advantage into the break.
In the second half, AKFC would gradually shift their focus from getting another goal to protecting what they had, and they would not concede a single chance to Proodeftiki through the end of the match, registering their seventh clean sheet of the campaign, with veteran ‘keeper Panagiotis Vosniadis making his first start this year.
Next week, AKC will travel to Crete to face Ierapetra on Wednesday 5 April in Matchday 18 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
Athens Kallithea (3-5-1-1): Vosniadis, Koltsidas, Kyrgias, Vlachos, Rentzas, Bouloulis, Matilla, Santana (58’ Nabi), Kainourgios (71’ Vasiloudis), Demethryus (64’ Babis), Kynigopoulos