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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 11 April 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 11 APRIL 2015 31 SPORT Easter fixtures kind to Greek clubs No Greek-sponsored NPLV clubs will be playing on Easter Sunday, but four will play just before Anastasi HELEN VELISSARIS Four Greek-sponsored clubs will play on Saturday and none on Sunday as the FFV agrees to give kinder fixtures to the clubs as the Greek community celebrates Orthodox Easter. The blockbuster Greek derby between Oakleigh Cannons and Northcote City will be played on Monday night after the teams requested a different date. "We released a draft fixture prior to the start of the season and clubs came back with their suggestions on their preferred playing days on specific competition weekends throughout the season," the FFV's Liam Bentley told Neos Kosmos. "Some clubs requested not to play on certain days, and we obliged with their preferences. "Whereas Oakleigh traditionally plays its home games on a Sunday, its game against Northcote was moved to the Monday night instead." Port Melbourne Sharks will be cutting it fine for Anastasi, as they play the latest game of the Saturday against Melbourne Knights in Dandenong. Heidelberg United, Bentleigh Greens and South Melbourne will all play 3.00 pm Saturday fixtures. Heidelberg tops ladder mid-week Heidelberg United hits the pitch again today after it stretched its undefeated streak against Port Melbourne on Wednesday Four out of the five clubs on the top of the NPLV ladder are Greek-sponsored teams, with Heidelberg United earning bragging rights and shifting its position to number one mid-week. The Bergers managed to hold a resurgent Port Melbourne Sharks on Wednesday and finish the match with a 0-2 clean sheet. Reuben Way and substitute Kenny Athiu led Heidelberg to victory, the team's fourth straight win. Oakleigh’s usual Sunday home game will be played on Monday. Postecoglou wants to do more than qualify The Socceroos coach admits he wants to scare countries about the team’s ability Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou admits he wants to qualify for the Russian 2018 World Cup in emphatic fashion to boost the name of the Socceroos around the world. "We want to qualify, but we want to go there and do some damage," Postecoglou said this week. "Scare a few countries and try and win the thing. That might sound ridiculous sitting here right now, but that should be our goal, to try and win the World Cup." The draw the Socceroos managed to achieve against current World Cup champi- ons Germany in March has done a lot to lift the name of the Socceroos and prove that they shouldn't be underestimated. Next week Australia will find out who it will be facing in the qualifying rounds of the World Cup, as the second round of Asian matches are drawn. Postecoglou says no player is a certain starter, and says he'll keep it that way to make sure players understand the gravity of playing for the national side. "I like to keep the players on edge," Postecoglou said. "I really want them excited when the national team is announced and they are in it. I don't want them to take it for granted. It's an honour and a privilege, and that's how it should be." It took the Bergers just two minutes to score as Kaine Sheppard found Way on the edge of the box, helping him score his first goal for the club since his transfer from Queensland's Olympic FC. Sheppard assisted again near stoppage time which saw Athiu work past Shane Kelly and Conor Reddan to slot the ball through. Heidelberg coach George Katsakis will be fielding a fresher team today as they take on Green Gully away. The team will be looking to test some players in the hopes of getting a more rounded team to take on Langwarrin SC in their FFA Cup match on April 22. Round 8 Third and fourth on the ladder, Bentleigh Greens and South Melbourne enter their matches today hoping to extend their undefeated runs. They remain the only teams not to concede a match in the league. Bentleigh Greens will be forgiven if they choose to rest some key players in their game against Hume City as they try and field a stellar team for their FFA Cup match on Wednesday. They play NPL1 team Ballarat Red Devils, who will be seeking bragging rights after being relegated from the NPL. Heidelberg, along with most clubs, will be using its round 8 matches for FFA Cup practice. PHOTO: MATT JOHNSON. South Melbourne coach Chris Taylor will be in the same position as the club faces a FFA Cup match against North Sunshine Eagles SC on Wednesday. The boys have a tough match against second placed Melbourne Knights standing in their way today, but knowing that Oakleigh was able to hold them to a draw mid-week, South will have some confidence. Port Melbourne will be hoping to bounce back and keep the goals coming when it takes on Dandenong Thunder. Eric Vassiladis' side has had some phenomenal wins of late, but a couple of losses in between has hurt its standings. At least its opponents are in a much worse state, having only won one match in six. Greens advance and brace for CSKA in playoffs Despite a loss thanks to Red Star Belgrade, Panathinaikos has qualified for the last eight GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Panathinaikos has set up a Euroleague playoff appointment with CSKA Moscow for the second year in a row, after Maccabi Tel Aviv beat Panathinaikos' main rival to a ticket for the last eight, Alba Berlin, to render the Greens' 69-68 loss at Red Star Belgrade this week irrelevant. The best-of-five playoffs be- gin on April 14 in Moscow, with the Russians holding the home advantage, just like last year, when the series ended 3-2 in the CSKA's favour. In Belgrade Panathinaikos had a terrible start to the game, as it made only two out of 18 field goals to trail 16-7 in the first quarter. However it quickly recovered to cut its deficit to four points by half-time (30-26) and edge ahead in the second half by up to eight (60-52). Around that point the Greens found out that Maccabi had sealed victory at Alba, so the remainder of the game was academic. Red Star felt it had to win the game to please its fans in the last Euroleague game for the Serb champion this season, and it turned things around to beat an error-prone Panathinaikos in the last few minutes. On a particularly bad night for James Gist and AJ Slaughter, who ended the game without a single point, Esteban Batista was the leading scorer for Panathinaikos with 15 points. Panathinaikos’ Nikos Pappas (C) drives to the basket as Red Star’s Stefan Jovic (L) and Charles Jenkins try to block. PHOTO: AP/DARKO VOJINOVIC.
18 April 2015