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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 2 May 2015
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 2 MAY 2015 31 SPORT Former AEK player Burns gets top nods Wellington Phoenix striker Nathan Burns named A-League player of the year Wellington Phoenix striker Nathan Burns has become just the second Australian to be named A-League player of the year by Australia's football media. The 26-year-old former AEK player has enjoyed a career resurgence since returning to the A-League with Phoenix, scoring 13 goals to come second in the race for the golden boot behind Marc Janko. His stellar form earned him a call up to Australia's AFC Asian Cup 2015 squad this year. Burns took out the Football Media Association (FMA) award ahead of Melbourne Victory's Gui Finkler and Sydney FC's Janko, who tallied the third-most votes. Brisbane Roar midfielder and fellow Australia international Matt McKay is the only other Australian to have claimed the gong, with other previous winners including Thomas Broich, Alessandro del Piero, Besart Berisha and Carlos Hernandez. The FMA, which was established in 2008, also named Sydney FC as the club of the year for the first time. Burns also collected the Wellington Phoenix Golden Boot, Players' Player of the Year and overall Player of the Year gongs. Olympiakos, Xanthi to contest Cup final For the first time in its history, Xanthi has reached the Greek Cup final GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS Olympiakos and Xanthi have reached the final of the Greek Cup even though they both failed to beat their second-division opposition at the second-leg games they hosted this week. Recently-crowned Super League champion Olympiakos is one step from completing the double as it advanced to the final with a 4-1 aggregate score over Apollon Smyrnis of the Football League. After its 3-0 win away Olympiakos drew 1-1 at home with a rather disappointing performance at the Karaiskakis Stadium. Apollon snatched a firsthalf lead through Spaniard Igor Angulo. The Reds raised their game somewhat in the second half - amid jeers by their fans - to equalise via Jorge Benitez six minutes Nathan Burns recognised for his stellar A-League season. PHOTO: AAP/DAVE HUNT. Kyrgios through to quarter-finals Nick Kyrgios, ranked 46 in the world, will next meet Robin Haase in the Estoril Open Australia's Nick Kyrgios advanced to the quarter-finals of the Estoril Open with a comfortable victory over Filip Krajinovic. The seventh-seeded Kyrgios won in straight sets, beating the Serbian Krajinovic 6-3, 6-3 in the second round. The Australian Open quarter-finalist Kyrgios, ranked 46 in the world, will next meet Dutchman Robin Haase. Haase produced a superb comeback to knock out top seed Feliciano Lopez in the second round 4-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4. Earlier in the week, Kyrgios came back from a break down in the final set against journeyman Spaniard Albert Ramos-Vinolas in the opening round. He won the match 6-3, 6-7 (5-7), 7-6 (7-3). In Istanbul, young Greek Australian Thanasi Kokkinakis got his clay court season off to a losing start, falling in the first round to 24-yearold Serbian Dusan Lajovic 6-4, 7-5. After a 1-1 draw against Apollon Smyrnis, Olympiakos is chasing another Greek Cup. from time and avoid an embarrassing defeat. They also complained about a goal four minutes earlier that apparently should not have been disallowed for offside. At the start of the game Olympiakos fans bore at least four banners against Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Alternate Minister for Sports Stavros Kontonis for allegedly supporting the judicial proceedings investigating Olympiakos president Vangelis Marinakis, in relation to his possible involvement in an alleged criminal organisation pestering Greek soccer. Press reports on Thursday suggested Marinakis will quit the Olympiakos presidency while he is being investigated. Xanthi reached the Cup final for the first time in its history with a 1-0 aggregate win over Iraklis Thessalonikis as the first-leg goal by Silva Cley- ton was enough to separate the two sides. Iraklis tried hard to turn the tables in the second leg but it was left with 10 men for the last 30 minutes of the game at Xanthi due to the dismissal of Diego Romano and could not escape a goalless draw that saw the Thrace club through. The final will take place in May (on 16 or 23) at the Olympic Stadium of Athens. Papas hits ground running With one win under his belt already, new Oakleigh Cannons coach Arthur Papas is starting strong Oakleigh Cannons coach Arthur Papas could have made it two for two last night as the team entered into its match against Dandenong Thunder. Taking on the coach's role just two weeks ago after Miron Beilberg stepped down, Papas hit the ground running with a strong 2-0 win against North Geelong Warriors. Conditions were tough, but goals by Ben Clarke and Goran Zoric in the middle of the match sealed the win and cast the Warriors into their seventh consecutive loss of the season. Papas has been gifted by a couple of easy fixtures to get himself settled, and the Dandenong Thunder match last night would have been a good chance to get some easy points. Things might change by mid-May when Papas comes up against a ferocious Bentleigh Greens. The Greens are third on the ladder with 21 points, two under second placed South Melbourne. They take on Avondale SC today hoping to take their undefeated run to 10. Ladder leader Heidelberg United is on par to collect their fifth win in a row when it travel to Geelong to face the Warriors. Bentleigh Greens are threatening South Melbourne’s run to the top spot. PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES. It's been an easy ascent to the top for George Katsakis' boys, carving out high goal tallies and clean sheets. Only South Melbourne and Bentleigh Greens were able to steal points away. Northcote City, on the other hand, is at crisis point, having just succumbed to a 6-1 thrashing by Dandenong Thunder. Goran Lozanovski's boys are in for a tough match against Werribee City, but have the home advantage this time to give them a bit of an edge.
25 April 2015
9 May 2015