After missing a penalty and then going down to 10 men, AKFC suffered an agonizing 1-0 defeat away to Ilioupoli on Sunday afternoon that leaves them five points back of the top of the table with two rounds remaining in the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
Fresh off their most impressive performance of the year following a 3-0 win over promotion contenders Apollon Smyrnis last weekend, AKFC were high on confidence and keen to maintain or cut into the two-point gap to first place. But they would be stunned just seven minutes into the match, when a giveaway at the back allowed Emmanuel Roe Addo to give the hosts the lead.
AKFC would regroup and apply intense pressure on Ilioupoli’s goal, but without an immediate breakthrough, as the score remained 1-0 going into half-time.
After the break, AKFC quickly earned a penalty and the chance to equalize, when Demethryus dribbled through the defense and was taken down in the box. But when Giannis Loukinas struck from the penalty spot in the 54th minute, he was denied by the ‘keeper. For a player who has consistently come through in the clutch, with Loukinas hitting eight match-winners among his team-leading 15 goals this season, it was a shocking miss.
Just four minutes later, Demethryus, who had been on the end of some hard challenges throughout the match, would lash out at a defender and was shown a straight red card, resulting in a crippling blow to the comeback effort.
Despite being down a man, AKFC continued to push for a goal, but ultimately it would not come.
Now, the remaining chance for promotion requires two wins paired with two Kifisia defeats in the final two rounds of the season.
AKFC will host Egaleo at Grigoris Lamprakis Stadium on Sunday 11 June in Matchday 29 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.
Athens Kallithea (4-2-3-1): Vosniadis, Vasiloudis (65’ Weiss), Vlachos (88’ Malçi), Evangelou, Kainourgios, Matilla (88’ Tsintonis), Santana (74’ Babis), Kynigopoulos, Nabi, Demethryus, Loukinas