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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 4 April2015
32 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 4 APRIL 2015 SPORT Easter Sunday’s A-League match could prove integral in deciding the Premier’s Plate Page 28 Cyprus eyes reunion after 60-year divorce Leaders clash The Easter Sunday match between Wellington Phoenix and Melbourne Victory might as well be a Premiers Plate battle. They are the best in the league currently, and seeing as this will be the last time the two meet before the Premiers Plate is decided, it's probably the only chance we'll have to see either of them drop points. One point differentiates the two, and more is at stake for Melbourne Victory than the Phoenix. Victory sailed through another win last week, this time against Central Coast Mariners (2-1) but it didn't make coach Kevin Muscat very happy. Nathan Burns returns for the Phoenix after being called for Socceroos duty. "It took us an eternity to get settled," he admits. "We created a numerical advantage in the middle of the park almost every time we had the ball yet we weren't composed enough to retain possession." Muscat admits that Victory have been winning without playing well, and knows that the team has to work on a multitude of problems to have a competitive advantage over Phoenix. "To win consistently, you need to perform well," he says. "We can perform better than we did and we will do." Wellington paid the price for being without Nathan Burns last week, conceding 0-3 to Sydney FC all in the first half. The team was left with 10 PHOTO: AAP/JOE CASTRO men after the half time return which made it almost impossible to bounce back. While being a goal machine for the Phoenix, Burns has also been integral in creating opportunities for Roy Krishna and Michael McGlinchey. Burns will be on hand this week at least after returning from Socceroos duty and will be a vital player if the Phoenix expects to bounce back. Teammates once more: Greece’s Euro 2004 team in Nicosia this week. Heidelberg looking to bounce back After a nailbiting 1-1 draw with rivals South Melbourne, Heidelberg enter another Greek derby, this time against Northcote City One point is better than no points, and holding the likes of South Melbourne down must make Heidelberg United's coach George Katsakis very happy. Last week's blockbuster der- by had fans in raptures, with so many near misses and expert saves. South Melbourne might have started proceedings with a Milos Lujic goal, but with most of the possession going to Heidelberg, it was a little disappointing to see the club leave with a draw. Kaine Sheppard has been proving invaluable to the Bergers, and got them back on track last week with his 62nd minute goal. Heidelberg defined itself as a goal machine last year, and five games in, the team is keeping to its name, despite some modest scorelines. It’s hoping to get back on track with its next fixture today against Northcote City. Fellow Greek-sponsored team Northcote City has been struggling to get any sort of momentum and handed Avondale FC their first win last week. It was a back and forth match, with Avondale starting the scoring, and Northcote following. James Kalifatidis scored twice for City, but the late offside goal meant that Avondale took the win. The game showed that even with a young inexperienced team, City isn't a team that gives up easily. South Melbourne have a tough match against Green Gully today. Both teams are on equal points, and a win for either has the potential to bring them into the top three. Green Gully hasn't had as much consistency as South, and will be a little worn down by its 1-1 draw against Bentleigh Greens last week. South are known for carving out wins by getting an early goal then laying back, meaning they might not be the most entertaining team to watch, but with such an equally matched opponent, it'll be interesting to see what coach Chris Taylor does. Oakleigh Cannons travel Heidelberg were able to hold South Mel- bourne to a 1-1 draw. PHOTO: CINDY NITSOS. Page 29 Shaky season start thanks to Essendon 9 771321 167062 Euro 2004 reunion Greece’s Euro 2004 Championship winning team reunited for an entertaining friendly match against Cyprus Angelos Charisteas, Giorgos Karagounis, Stelios Giannakopoulos and the rest of Greece's Euro 2004 Championship winning team, including coach Otto Rehagel, reunited this week to play a match against Cyprus on Wednesday. Almost eleven years later, Greece proved it deserved the title by thrashing Cyprus 6-1. First off the block was Euro 2004 star Angelos Charisteas who got past Cyprus' goalie in the first six minutes. Former Panathinaikos and Olympiakos player Antonis Nikopolidis boosted the score seven minutes later, while Greek national team great Giorgos Karagounis and Stelios Giannakopoulos helped the team to four before half time. Giannakopoulos scored again in the 55th minute while Pantelis Kafes (57”) and Vasilis Lakis (61”) ended proceedings in front of 6,000 fans in Nicosia. The match was the brainchild of former captain of the Greek team and now member of the European Parliament Thodoris Zagorakis and his Cypriot counterpart Eleni Theoharous. Source: GreekReporter.gr DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 away this week to meet Avondale, after a demoralising 4-0 loss to Port Melbourne Sharks. Their season has gone from bad to worse, sitting bottom of the ladder with four losses to their name, a far cry from the Oakleigh we saw last year. The team fell apart in the second half, Oakleigh switched to the back foot and paid for it badly. Substitute Nick Krousoratis added two goals in quick succession to boost teammate Kamal Ibrahim's goals to nail the coffin shut on Oakleigh. With an easier opponent today, it'll be interesting to see whether Oakleigh has the mettle to get back on track and prove it's worth a shot at finals.
28 March 2015
11 April 2015