SL2 22/23: Kifisia 2-0 Athens Kallithea

On a rain-soaked pitch at Michalis Kritikopoulos Stadium, hosts Kifisia grabbed an early lead from a free-kick before converting a penalty in the second half, while AKFC struggled to get their game into gear and would take their first loss of the season, ending an 18-match unbeaten streak that stretched all the way back to March 2022.

In the opening minutes, AKFC suffered a disheartening blow when left-back Leonida Rossi went down in pain from a collision with teammate Demethryus, an obviously serious injury that was later revealed to be a fractured kneecap and rupture of the patellar tendon, which understandably shook up the team.

Just 10 minutes later, captain Michalis Kyrgias was forced to leave the match with a muscle issue, suddenly leaving AKFC without half of their starting defense.

In the 26th minute, Kifisia went in front. After earning a foul on the left wing, French midfielder Madih Talal struck from the ensuing free-kick, beating ‘keeper Georgios Strezos with a curling shot to the near post.

Looking to respond, AKFC nearly equalized when Panagiotis Kynigopoulos hit the post on a powerful shot from the edge of the area, but the hosts would take their advantage into half-time.

Shortly after the break, Kifisia earned a penalty when AKFC failed to cleanly take care of a loose ball on the sloppy pitch, and striker Michalis Kouiroukidis would step up and convert from the spot.

Over the final half-hour, AKFC’s play was stifled and ultimately they could not find a way back into the match, as the hosts saw out the result.

Next up, AKFC will play host AEK Athens B at Grigoris Lamprakis Stadium on Monday 5 December at 15:15 EET in Matchday 5 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.

Athens Kallithea (4-4-2): Strezos, Manthatis, Kyrgias (16’ Chatzidimpas), Evaggelou, Rossi (5’ Vasiloudis), Bouloulis (54’ Laskaris), Santana, Demethryus (54’ Nili), Kostanasios (54’ Tsintonis), Kynigopoulos, Loukinas