Buy This Issue
The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 8 September 2018
28 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 8 SEPTEMBER 2018 SPORT Sharks head to Avenger Park for elimination final showdown If Port Melbourne wins today, they progress to a semi-final clash with Heidelberg United GEORGE STOGIANNOU Port Melbourne Sharks are looking to create further club history this afternoon, when they venture to the Reggio Calabria Club in Brunswick, to take on Avondale FC in an NPL elimination final. Having qualified some weeks back for their first ever national round of 32 in the FFA Cup, the Sharks followed up by qualifying for their first ever NPL finals beginning this weekend, courtesy of a tense drama filled final round 1-0 win over local rivals South Melbourne FC at Lakeside last Sunday. "It was a bit of relief because we probably should have qualified earlier but left it late," Sharks' senior coach Adam Piddick told Neos Kosmos. "But also it was with great satisfaction that we qualified, beating our fellow Greek club in a local derby on the final day of the season." Port's win over South ended a recent lean spell for the Sharks in which they were winless for five matches, affected in large part by the loss of key players to injury and overseas travel due to personal family reasons. "Having a small squad, we were relying on playing play- ers out of position," Piddick says. In contrast, Avondale finished the home and away season with a full head of steam, having lost just one of its previous ten matches. "Obviously [Avondale is] probably the form team of the competition at the moment," Piddick says. "They've got players all over the park that can hurt you. "In attack, Kaine Sheppard, Liam Boland, Elvis Kamsoba and Joey Katebian, give Avondale multiple avenues to goal. "They're good going forward, in transition or through set pieces. Quite strong defen- Port Melbourne Sharks players secured their place in the finals with a win over South Melbourne at Lakeside last Sunday. PHOTO: K. DEVES sively, [they] probably got the best keeper in the league, Chris Oldfield. All very experienced, [they] played finals football. All round it's a tough task," Piddick says. In contrast, the Sharks are relatively inexperienced at finals football. "You can say we're going into the game without that experience but in saying that, we're going into it with no fear as well," Piddick says. It's fair to say the Sharks are the underdogs going into today's final. Expectations will be high on Avondale to push all the way for a place in the grand final, having fall- Nations League challenge The new competition is set to make its debut this weekend Greece prepares for The newly formed UEFA Nations League hopes to open new ground for European football by offering real purpose for teams and players in place of the ‘friendly matches’ which offered little motivation. Teams in the new tournament will be given an extra opportunity to seek qualification for the finals of the European Championship, as there will be four positions up for grabs. The 55 participating teams are split into four "leagues" (depending on their position on the UEFA rankings), each league containing four groups. After the games in all groups are completed, the teams that finish in the top spots of each respective group are automatically promoted to a league above (with the ex- UEFA seek to captivate audiences the world over with the introduction of the Nations League PHOTO: AAP VIA AP/CHRISTOPHE ENA ception of those in league A), while those that finish last are relegated to a league below (with the exception of those in league D). In addition, the four teams that finish top of their group within each league will enter a play-off round, with the four teams that come away as winners of these play-offs sealing qualification to the European Championship finals. Greece is participating in group 2 of league C, alongside Estonia, Hungary and Finland. The Greek team will face Estonia on Sunday in Tallinn and will then travel to Budapest to face Hungary on Wednesday. National team coach Michael Skibbe pointed out that his team is prepared for this competition and will do whatever they can in order to advance to league B and claim one of the four available tickets to EURO 2020. Meanwhile, apart from Kyriakos Papadopoulos, who has been out of action for some time, the Greek coach is satisfied with all his players looking fully fit. Mitroglou has experienced some minor annoyances but nothing severe enough to keep him out of action, and Carlos Zeca and Michalis Mpakakis were able to make it through the entire training regimen on Wednesday. en at the first hurdle of last season's final series. A loss at home today against the Sharks would be considered a failure. Piddick commented on the contrasting expectations on the two clubs going into the elimination final: "I think those expectations come out from the football community, not from us as a playing group. Our expectations as a playing group is to be the best. Our expectations are still high. If we don't perform on the weekend and we go out, the boys will be very disappointed. So I think the expectation on that is prob- ably from outside our group which is something we can't control. "But if you step back and look at it, Avondale have got a bigger budget and more ready made players, so they're probably feeling the expectations from the football community. And I'm sure within their group, they'll want to be the best as well, and they believe they can win it. And we can do the same. There's no reason why we're going to sit back and let them go at us. We've already been to Avondale this year and beaten them, and there's no reason why we can't do it again." Anna Korakaki wins gold at the 10m pistol World Championship Her success seals her place at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics Anna Korakaki has done it again. The Greek Olympian athlete competed at the air pistol 10 metre category in the World Championship held in Changwon, South Korea, taking home the gold. She has now automatically qualified for the next Olympic Games that will take place in Tokyo in 2020. Korakaki's came first with 241.1 points, leaving Serbian Zorana Arounovic in second place with 239.8 and South Korean Bomi Kim in third with 218.8 points. After winning gold, Korakaki released a statement on the International Federation's website, describing her own disbelief over this turn of events. "Everything that's happen- DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM ISSN 1321-1676 9 771321 167062 ing is huge. I'm speechless. This is a big day for me. I won the title on my first effort. In 2014, in the last world championship, I participated with the youth team. I feel great to have sealed a spot for the Olympics. That means that now I can take a big break before starting my preparation for the Olympics. There are still two years to go and I need to recharge my batteries."
01 September 2018
15 September 2018