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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 06 April 2019
DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 6 APRIL 2019 29 SPORT Greek clubs return to winning ways Although only half of the teams played last weekend in the NPL around Australia, most of them performed well and secured three points ALEX ANYFANTIS It was a bit of a strange weekend for the National Premier Leagues (NPL) in Australia, as some of them were skipped, while others hadn't even kicked off yet. But within those that continued normally, the participating Greek teams put on their good face, returning to form and sealing the wins. In New South Wales, Sydney Olympic finally managed to find their first win of the season against Hakoah, while Olympic FC added another three points to their recent string of success. The Olympia Warriors had a walk in the park against Riverside, while the only "dark spot" was Floreat Athina's dramatic home loss against Inglewood. OLYMPIC FC Just one goal, scored by Alex Smith on the 72nd, after a wonderful assist provided by Jez Lofthouse (who was also named man-of-the-match) made all the difference in Olympic's game against Moreton Bay United. The home side maintained complete control of the ball's movements and created several opportunities to put the game to sleep from early on, yet they failed to make something of them. Their next game will be a lot more of a challenge for Ben Cahn's men, as they will travel to the Lions Stadium to face the lo- cal team with whom they are currently tied in third place with 18 points apiece. FLOREAT ATHINA A highly suspenseful game was held at the E&D Litis Stadium, as Athina and Inglewood United gave it their all for the win. Eventually though, it was the visitors that managed to leave with the three points, after a thrilling conclusion that saw them scoring late in injury time. Floreat broke the deadlock just after seven minutes of play thanks to a Murphy own goal, yet just two minutes later Hina put Inglewood back on level terms. Athina attempted to break away again on the 27th with Petkov, but the visitors made a counterattack, equalising yet again with Mapet-Riak just four minutes before the break and gaining the advantage with Sokol two minutes after the start of the second half. Whitney brought the two teams level for the third time in the competition, and just when it all seemed like they would neutralise each other, Blackmore came in the third minute of extra time to score and give the three points to Inglewood. Now Floreat shift their attention towards their next home game against Armadale. OLYMPIA WARRIORS The Warriors seemed comfortable against Riverside Alex Smith was the player that made all the difference in the game between Olympic FC and Moreton Bay United. PHOTO: PATRICK LEIGH PERSPECTIVES Panos makes super league debut GEORGE STOGIANNOU Twenty-year-old playmaker Panos Armenakas could be at the centre of a triangular international tussle for his services following his Greek Super League debut for his new club Panathinaikos last weekend. After signing with the famous Greek club in January this year, the skilful Armenakas got his chance when he came off the bench in the 76th minute in his team's 3-1 away win to Apollon Smyrni. The Sydney raised Armenakas hopes it's the start of consistent senior football which up till now has proven elusive to the talented US born player whose precocious talent and desire to play professionally, led him Armenakas could be in line for more Olyroos’ appearances. to leave Sydney where he played junior football with Sydney Olympic, in search of a career in European football. After making the move to Europe he progressed through youth academies at Watford and Serie A club Undinese before signing his first professional contract with Udinese in 2015. In 2017, he was loaned out to Belgium second tier club Tubize, where his first team appearances were restricted to just six matches. After his three year contract at Udinese expired, Armenakas found himself trialling at Panathinaikos in late 2018 which led to the club signing him on a free transfer in the January transfer window. Should he succeed in establishing himself as a first team regular in the Greek Super league, it could spark a three way tug of war for his international services between Australia, Greece and the US (his country of birth) as he is eligible to play for all three nations. Indeed, he's already played for Greek and Australian national teams. In 2014 he played twice for Greece at U 17 level against Turkey. He then represented Australia seven times at U 17 level including playing at the 2015 FIFA U 17's World Cup in Chile where one of his team mates was a future Socceroo Daniel Arzani. Two appearances with the Olyroos followed in 2017. It's believed Armanakas has expressed a preference to play for Australia. Olympic, despite the fact that they were forced to play for the majority of the game with a numerical disadvantage. Ryan and Nkoso had provided Olympia a two goal margin even before 10 minutes of play were up, and although the dismissal of McDonald on the 21st minute made the spectators believe that the game could be made a bit more competitive, not much changed. Nkoso found his second, just four minutes before the end of the first half, while Ryan also added a second to his personal tally three minutes into the second. Nkoso completed his hat-trick and his team's triumph just three minutes before the end of the 90’. The Olympia players will hope to repeat this performance on Saturday night at Launceston as they continue to rise the ranks in the NPL of Tasmania. Meanwhile, the NPL of South Australia also resumes this weekend, with Adelaide Olympic playing away at City and West Adelaide facing the para Hill Knights. Also, Hamilton Olympic will need to rise to the challenge of the Edgeworth Eagles in Northern NSW. Finally, this week marks the start of the 2019 season of the Capital Territory with the great derby between Canberra Olympic and Canberra FC standing out in the schedule of round one.
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