SL2 22/23: Athens Kallithea 2-1 Chania

In their first match of the new year, AKFC overcame a talented and experienced Chania side with goals from Panagiotis Kynigopoulos and Giannis Loukinas in a 2-1 win at El Paso in Matchday 9 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.

AKFC would grab the lead straight away. In the 3rd minute, left-back Stathis Vasiloulis collected the ball deep in his own end and pinged a defense-splitting pass out to the right wing that released Kynigopoulos in on goal. At breakneck speed, Kynigopoulos outran the last defender and chipped the ball over the sliding ‘keeper to finish off the move.

Chania were never going to go away quietly, and they would draw level just 10 minutes later. In the 13th minute, veteran striker Georgios Manalis cut in from the right wing and blasted a shot past Georgios Strezos for his fifth goal of the campaign to tie the match at 1-1.

As AKFC made a push to go back in front, Demethryus and Loukinas would spurn chances in the 19th minute and 27th minute, respectively, but the breakthrough would come just before half-time.

In the 45th minute, a Chania corner kick was cleared away, and Demethryus raced down the left wing on a solo run, before laying the ball off to Nili. In one instinctive move, Nili, with his back to goal, turned away from a defender and squared the ball for an onrushing Loukinas, who was in alone against the ‘keeper and confidently slotted the ball inside the near post to restore the lead for AKFC.

After the break, AKFC pressed to make it 3-1 but could not put the game away, with Demethryus, Kynigopoulos, and Loukinas all going close.

In the final quarter of an hour, Chania searched for an equalizer, but would miss the target on their two best chances, as AKFC defended their lead well and ultimately closed out an important win.

Athens Kallithea (4-3-3): Strezos, Rentzas, Koltsidas, Evaggelou, Vasiloudis, Laskaris, Bouloulis, Nili (71’ Tsintonis), Demethryus (90’ Kyrgias), Loukinas (87’ Manthatis), Kynigopoulos