A beautifully taken free-kick from midfield maestro Javier Matilla was the difference as AKFC edged out hosts Ierapetra, 0-1, on Wednesday afternoon in Matchday 18 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
For Matilla, it marked his first goal in an AKFC shirt since arriving in January, as the former Villarreal, Real Betis, and Aris Thessaloniki man continues to put his stamp on the team.
The Spaniard nearly opened the scoring early into the first-half, but his free-kick was incredibly tipped over the bar by Ierapetra ‘keeper Ilias Kyritsis.
Kyritsis would make two more exceptional saves before half-time, first on Konstantinos Bouloulis’ shot from the edge of the area, then on Panagiotis Kynigopoulos’ volley from close range, as the match remained scoreless.
After the break, AKFC kept their poise and pressed on, and Matilla would finally break the deadlock in the 58th minute, with a sweetly struck free-kick from straight on that went over the wall and dipped under the bar.
AKFC would cautiously probe for an insurance goal, but more importantly maintained control of possession and closed down Ierapetra at every turn, leaving the hosts without a legitimate chance for an equalizer over the final half-hour of the match en route to securing the 0-1 victory.
AKFC now turn their attention to Monday’s highly anticipated top-of-the-table clash against Kifisia at Grigoris Lamprakis Stadium in Matchday 19.
Athens Kallithea (3-5-1-1): Vosniadis, Koltsidas, Kyrgias, Vlachos, Rentzas (62’ Weiss), Bouloulis, Matilla, Santana (82’ Babis), Kainourgios, Nabi (62’ Demethryus), Kynigopoulos (88’ Loukinas)