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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 21 February 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 21 FEBRUARY 2015 31 SPORT Olympiakos red-faced The Reds will have their chance again in a week’s time GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Two goals at the start of the second half in Kiev condemned Olympiakos to a 2-0 loss to host Dnipro in the first leg of their encounter for the round of 32 of the Europa League on Thursday. The Greek champion contained its host in Ukraine in the first half, that was largely balanced, but its performance in the first quarter of the second half dipped to allow Dnipro to claim a significant advantage ahead of the return leg in Piraeus a week later. A sinister ricochet off Olympiakos central defender Felipe Santana meant keeper Roberto was unable to get a hand on the shot by Georgian Jaba Kankava that gave the host the lead five minutes into the second half. Four minutes later Olympikakos conceded the softest of goals, as a long-distance free-kick from the right by Dnipro captain Ruslan Rotan bounced twice in the Reds' box and went in off Dimitris Siovas for 2-0. The Ukrainians missed more chances in the second half, such as the shot by Yehven Konoplyanka that went just wide 14 minutes from the end, as the Reds appeared unable to close down on the Dnipro players who attempted shots. Olympiakos tried to get something out of the game by putting pressure in the Dnipro goal towards the end, but it never really threatened its host with an away goal, until the time added on. In the last minute of injury time the Reds had a penalty appeal rejected and Kostas Mitroglou had a goal disallowed for committing a foul before heading the ball goalwards. Australia’s coach Ange Postecoglou excited for the NPL season. PHOTO: AP/RICK RYCROFT. Postecoglou thanks Greek community for support In a personal column written by Ange Postecoglou for Neos Kosmos, the national coach thanks the Greek Australian community With the new NPL season about to begin, the excitement that surrounds our game will ensure that every player, coach, administrator and supporter will be starting the new season with great enthusiasm. Olympiakos’ Kostas Mitroglou (L) reacts during the Dnipro Europa league first leg. PHOTO: EPA/SERGEY DOLZHENKO. Kyriakopoulou breaks pole vault record GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Pole-vault champion Nicole Kyriakopoulou smashed her own national indoor record this week, clearing 4.76 metres at a meeting in Sweden. Just over two weeks before the European Indoor Championships in Prague, Kyriakopoulou returned to the stadium where she had registered her 4.72 national best last year, and rose four centimetres higher this time. This has been the best jump in Europe so far this year and the second in the world. Kyriacopoulou lit the XLGalan in Stockholm with her performance that gave her victo- The game has never been more popular and we are seeing more and more boys and girls wanting to play football and become Socceroos and Matildas. The NPL plays a critical role in providing a pathway for all these boys and girls to realise their dreams. My own football roots lie in this community and my upbringing is full of road trips to the various junior grounds where I first gained my pas- sion for the game. I want to wish every club a successful and more importantly enjoyable season full of goals and great community and competitive spirit. I would also like to extend great thanks to the Greek community for their overwhelming acknowledgement of the success of our National Team. Saturday 31 January was a great night for our country and our sport and I feel privileged and proud to have contributed to that achievement. I am very proud of my own Greek heritage and I have been humbled by the messages I have received from here and overseas from people of Greek origin. The challenge to grow the game continues in our great country and I look forward to seeing the next generation of boys and girls show what they are made of once the new NPL season begins. Once again, good luck to all and hope to see you at your local ground. Panathinaikos aims to kick Olympiakos while they’re down Nicole Kyriacopoulou ry in the meeting, but that was outshone on the night by the world record in the women's 5,000 metres by Genzebe Dibaba. Also in Stockholm, Louis Tsatoumas finished second in the long jump measuring 7.93 metres. In the blockbuster Athens derby, Panathinaikos has the upper hand as Olympiakos returns after a demoralising Europa League loss Panathinaikos is ready to pounce Monday, as it takes on the Super League leader Olympiakos in the blockbuster Athens derby right after Olympiakos suffered an embarrassing loss in the Europa League. The Reds lost 2-0 thanks to a mistake riddled second half that they couldn't come back from in the first leg of the round of 32 matches in the Europa League. Panathinaikos has had a week to fix any niggles and will come into the match fresh and to a home crowd. The Greens have won their previous nine home matches and managed to secure a 2-3 win away against OFI last week. Olympiakos might have won its last Super League match with a clean sheet against Ergotelis, but it was held to two draws recently against AEK in the Cup and PAOK in the League. The unstable results might Panathinaikos have had the luxury of a full week of training. be a serious worry for the club and fans, but with six points in between them and second placed Panathinaikos, they're safe for another two matches at least. Third placed PAOK has 11 points to gain to move itself up to first place again but is in the midst of a severe losing streak. It hasn't won a league match since January, and was smashed 4-0 by Atromitos last week. The Thessaloniki club plays Veria away this Sunday before it settles back home to play Ergotelis the week after.
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