SL2 22/23: Panachaiki 0-0 Athens Kallithea

Despite creating a host of good chances, AKFC would have to settle for a point in a scoreless draw against a gritty Panachaiki side at Kostas Davourlis Stadium in Patra on Thursday afternoon in Matchday 8 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season, closing out a dizzying stretch of five matches in 17 days just before the holiday break.

AKFC finish the calendar year with just one loss in their last 24 league and cup matches dating back to March 2022.

After confidently absorbing an initial wave of energy from the hosts through the first 10 minutes, AKFC took control of the ball and began working their way into the final third in search of an opening goal.

In the 15th minute, Demethryus cut in from the left wing and played a sharp cross into the box but Panagiotis Kynigopoulos could not manage to head it on target. In the 22nd minute, Kynigopoulos powered his way through the area after collecting a smart pass from right-back Vasilios Rentzas and fired a heavy shot to the near post that was stopped.

AKFC’s best chance of the first half came in the 39th minute, when Nili pounced on the ball from a turnover and pulled it back for Demethryus, who had a great look at goal but saw his shot tipped over the bar by the ‘keeper.

In the 45th minute, Orestis Tsintonis missed an opportunity to head in a corner kick, and AKFC would have to continue their work on the other side of half-time.

Coming out of the break, AKFC were in total control and it felt like a goal was inevitable. In the 50th minute, midfielder Konstantinos Bouloulis unleashed a thundering shot from distance that flashed just wide of the post. Three minutes later, central defender Konstantinos Koltsidas, who put in a standout performance on the day, should have scored from Demethryus’ perfectly served corner kick, but his close-range header was not firm enough to get the ball over the line.

As time ticked on, the danger was that Panachaiki could suddenly grab a goal against the run of play with the stadium urging them forward, and in the 55th minute AKFC ‘keeper Georgios Strezos was called upon to stop a dangerous shot from substitute attacker Angelos Chanti.

Just a minute later, Demethryus responded with a curling effort from the left wing that seemed destined for the top corner at the far post but was tipped out by the ‘keeper.

In the 77th minute, a wild scrum ensued in front of Panachaiki’s goal, and the ball would eventually break loose for striker Giannis Loukinas but he could not punch it in.

As some fatigue appeared to set in, AKFC wouldn’t manage any further chances of note, but importantly managed to keep the hosts at bay who fought hard through all 90 minutes.

AKFC will return to action in the new year on Sunday 4 January when they host Cretan side Chania at Grigoris Lamprakis Stadium in Matchday 9 of the 2022/23 Super League 2 season.

Athens Kallithea (4-3-3): Strezos, Rentzas (79’ Manthatis), Koltsidas, Evaggelou, Vasiloudis, Bouloulis, Demethryus, Tsintonis (64’ Kostanasios), Nili, Loukinas (79’ Mounier), Kynigopoulos