Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 15 November 2014
SATURDAY 15 NOVEMBER 2014 31 SPORT Depleted squads struggle for round six With Socceroos call ups, round six of the A-League will beatestofhow good the second best players are As the only unbeaten teams in the A-League, all eyes will be on the Sydney FC- Melbourne Victory match this round. With most teams having to deal with key players miss- ing thanks to Socceroos duty, none will be feeling the pain more than the two league leaders. While Perth has a one point advantage over the two, the Sydney game will be a chance for the two to really test who is the better team in the long run. Sydney FC's Graham Arnold has had to deal with the pros- pect of having Terry Antonis back dashed by the FFA, and wasn't shy about slamming the FFA's regulations on the topic. Antonis was supposed to be in Osaka with the Socceroos this week but was forced to pull out after being involved in a car accident on the way to the airport which left the 20-year-old with head and neck injuries. Arnold also has to juggle a team without marquee man Marc Janko, Corey Gameiro and skipper Alex Brosque. But in their place, Terry's brother Peter Trian- tis and fellow Greek Austral- ian George Timotheou have come to the rescue. Melbourne Victory are in the same boat as Kostas Barbarouses, Connor Pain, Daniel Georgievski head to Japan, while skipper Mark Milligan and young defender Scott Galloway both sit side- lined. Victory have one posi- tive, as they welcome back Matthieu Delpierre and make use of Greek Australian Jesse Makarounas. In the other big match of the season, fans will be hoping to see a well-rested Western Sydney Wanderers show they have what it takes to make it to the grand final again as they take on ladder leaders Perth Glory. With the AFC Champion- ship taking a toll on the fit- ness of the team, showing in their 1-0 loss against Wel- lington Phoenix, coach Tony Popovic says the team is fi- nally getting back to a nor- mal routine. "We've had six or seven weeks where all we've done is recover and fly," Popovic said on Thursday. "The players trained well Tuesday. They all look like they've finally recovered from all the travel and eve- ryone is sleeping well again. "It'll be nice to get a bit of continuity on the training ground and I'm sure as the weeks go by you'll see a lot stronger Wanderers." Glory have come off a Tuesday win in Melbourne against Bentleigh Greens to make it to the FFA Cup final, and will be the ones fighting flight fatigue more than the Wanderers on Sat- urday. Adelaide United saw off Central Coast Mariners in the Westfield FFA Cup semi- finals on Wednesday and will be taking on the Phoenix in an entertaining match on Saturday. Finishing proceedings will be Melbourne City, who might be in for a chance to make it two wins in the sea- son against a still-struggling Central Coast Mariners. City were able to take points away from the flat-lining Brisbane Roar last week in their 1-3 win at Suncorp Sta- dium, and returning home to AAMI park this week, City will have the upper hand. Both Mark Milligan (L) and Terry Antonis have missed out on Socceroos duty and A-League selection. PHOTO: A AP/DAVID CROSLING. Greece took on the Faroe Is- lands this morning in their fourth Euro 2016 qualify- ing match without star strik- ers Giorgos Samaras, Dimi- tris Salpingidis and Kostas Mitroglou. Coach Claudio Ranieri had to make unavoidable chang- es to his squad this week as more players showed up with injuries. Twenty-one-year-old Pan- ionios attacking midfielder Dimitris Kolovos, replaced PAOK's Salpingidis, while Levante defender Loukas Vy- ntra, 33, has returned in place of Borussia Dortmund defend- er Sokratis Papastathopoulos. On Saturday, Ranieri re- placed injured midfielder Ko- stas Fortounis of Olympiakos with Panathinaikos' Thanasis Dinas and Panionios defender Christos Tasoulis stepped in for Roma's Jose Holebas. The coach also omitted Sa- maras and Mitroglou from his 23-man squad after they failed to impress in Greece's three previous European qualifiers, where they suf- fered two losses and a draw. Greece, the 2004 European champion, is second from bot- tom of Group F with just one point from three games. The Faroe Islands are sitting at the bottom with three con- secutive losses. Greece battles without its stars Claudio Ranieri has had to make do with player injuries. PHOTO: AP/THANASSIS STAVRAKIS. In a must-win match against the Faroe Islands, Greece had to make do with a lot of squad changes Olympiakos completed the first half of the Euroleague's first group stage with a per- fect record, beating visiting Galatasaray 93-66 on Thurs- day to complete five wins in five games in the tour- nament. The Reds led from start to finish against a rather medi- ocre Turkish visitor in what was arguably the most con- sistent performance of the Piraeus team throughout a game so far this season. The home debut of coach Yiannis Sfairopoulos in the Euroleague showed an im- proved Olympiakos that pleased its 8,000 fans at the Peace and Friendship Sta- dium not only with its high scoring but also with its spec- tacular play at times. The first quarter produced a double score for Olympia- kos (26-13) as the Turks were unable to contain the Greeks on the night. The first half had Galatasaray reduce its deficit to 10 points (49-39), but there really was no way for the visitors to threaten the Reds. With the score at 75-65, Olympiakos suddenly put its collective foot on the gas and sent its lead to 28 points (93-65), and won by 27, to emerge as a near cer- tain group winner. Othello Hunter was im- pressive on the night for Olympiakos, scoring 17 points and collecting 10 rebounds. On Wednesday PAOK thrashed Montenegro's Bu- ducnost 80-60 for its fourth win in five Eurocup group games. Olympiakos' best peformance to date in Euroleague Othello Hunter (C) of Olympiakos dunks against Galatasaray Istanbul. PHOTO: EPA/ALEXANDROS VLACHOS. Five wins from five games for the Reds GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Pele hospitalised Former Brazil striker Pele, 77, who is booked to speak at two events with Les Murray in Australia next week, has undergone a procedure this week to remove kidney stones that were obstructing his uri- nary tract. The football great had to cancel a book signing event in Santos on Thurs- day as he entered hospi- tal, and might be unfit to travel to Australia in the coming days to meet fans. Doctors say Pele is recov- ering well, but a spokes- person for the hospital didn't say if he had been discharged yet. Pele is booked to speak at two events to honour vet- eran SBS broadcaster Les Murray's contribution to the sport over 35 years.
8 November 2014
22 November 2014