The 3-0 of the first match at the OPAP Arena had essentially turned the rematch in Serres into a formality for the AEK.
Union with victory in the second match (1-3) against him Panseraikou sealed the ticket for the semi-finals of the Greek Cup, where he now awaits either Olympiakos or Aris.
Mandalos was the protagonist for the yellow and black, who opened the scoring in the 21st minute, and in the 51st minute with a second personal goal, he put AEK ahead again, as Panserraikos had temporarily equalized with Katsantonis in the 49th minute.
Macheiras with a well-weighted shot in the 80′ scored the final score with a beautiful goal. Somehow the Union easily booked a place in the “4” of the institution and now turns its attention to the championship match next Sunday at the OPAP Arena against Aris.
Panserraikos – AEK: This is how Dermitzakis and Almeida started
For Panserraikos, Pavlos Dermitzakis started with Katsikas in goal, Lymberakis, Pantekidis, Giannarakis and Zeri from left to right in defense, Kolombinos and Staikos in the center of the midfield, Mourgos and Katsantonis at both ends and Sofianos at the back by promoted Said. Matias Almeida in relation to the match with Ionikos kept only Van Weert in the original AEK squad, changing his remaining ten options. Stankovic, as always in the Novibet Greek Cup matches, was in goal, with Sidibe, Tzavella, Mitoglou and Radonia from left to right in defense, Galanopoulos as a six and Mandalos in front of him. Gacinovic played on the left, Paolo Fernandes on the right, while Zuber started behind the promoted Van Weert.
Beautiful and combined football from AEK and a lead with Mandalo
Despite the many changes to the starting line-up and the score of the first match, AEK showed that they are a team with chemistry and the right mentality. The yellow-and-blacks worked together brilliantly in midfield, and with beautiful and combination football they created many chances with 0-1 in the first half looking poor. Just in the 8th minute, AEK had a big double phase with Fernandes’ place ball and Tzumber’s close header, with Katsikas saying “no”. Five minutes later it was Gacinovic’s turn to shoot after a great partnership with Zuber and Sidibe, but the ball went over the bar as Union continued to press in search of a goal.
Finally, this came in the 21st minute with the yellow and black… hiding the ball. Mandalos passed to Gacinovic and drilled into the area. “Gatsi” fed Zuber and he converted, with Mandalo from close range making it 0-1. Gacinovic was looking for a goal on his return to the starting line-up, with the Serbian midfielder having a second of his own in the 29th minute, but his volley from inside the area went just over the bar as Union completed a full first party that satisfied its 4,000 friends from several parts of Northern Greece who had a dynamic presence in the stands.
Second goal from Mandalo, beautiful goal from Machira and AEK easily in the semi-finals
The second half started with two quick goals. Initially, it was Panserraikos who equalized. After a nice action by Colombino, the ball went to the right of Side who crossed, the yellow and black defense could not clear it and at the second post Katsantonis ended the phase from close range in Stankovic’s net for 1-1.
However, AEK responded well by quickly finding the second goal and retaking the lead. In the 51st minute, Fernavtes passed to the forward Sidibe from the right, the Frenchman sent a sweet cross into the area and there Mandalos, undisturbed with a strong header, scored his second personal goal of the match, making it 1-2. Shortly after the one-hour mark, Almeida replaced Macheira in place of Fernandes who picked up a minor injury problem, while a few minutes later Franson, Kosidis and Araujo replaced Galanopoulos, Van Weert and Gatsinovic.
AEK was developing mainly from the right side with the very good Sidipe, who was moving up. In fact, in the 71st minute, the Frenchman sent in another nice cross in the area, with Katsikas saying “no” with an impressive save to Kosidis’ header, while after the corner, Araouho went to score with a kick but Katsantoni cleared the ball that he was headed for the corner. The Union in the 80′ found a third very beautiful goal with Machira from a long distance with a well-weighted right shot sent the ball with the help of the crossbar into the net, forming the final 1-3. In the last minutes, Kosidis who was looking for the goal on two occasions could have found the net, but Katsikas reacted correctly.
MVP: Of course Mandalos, with the two personal goals he scored and his participation in general in the development of AEK.
At their height: Very important match from Sidibe on the right side, with nice lifts, crosses and an assist. A good match from Zuber as well, with participation in the creative part and an assist as well.
Weak link: The inhibitory function of Panseraikos. The Serraios did not have proper reactions both in the first and in the second goal of Mandalos, missing the marking of the Greek international midfielder.
The blunder: It was made by AEK’s defense in the equalizing phase of Panserraikos as it failed to clear the cross by conceding a “cheap” goal.
The straggler: Tsimenteridis did not have a very difficult phase. Van Weert called for a penalty in the first half for a tackle in the Panseraikos area, with the match referee showing nothing.
The Gazzetta box office: Almeida made an expected deep rotation in his line-up with the qualification having been decided by the first match. Despite the many changes, AEK had the right mentality and brought out some nice partnerships up front, which would surely have left the Argentinian coach satisfied. The Union reached the 1-3 victory in the second game without any problems, easily securing a place in the semi-finals of the Greek Cup.
Panserraikos (Pavlos Dermitzakis): Katsikas, Lymberakis, Pantekidis, Giannarakis, Zeris, Kolombino (73′ Stina), Staikos (61′ Thymianis), Sofianos (82′ Siontis), Katsantonis, Mourgos (73′ Maskanakis), Said (61′ Kanis).
AEK (Matias Almeida): Stankovic, Sidibe, Tzavellas, Mitoglou, Radonia, Galanopoulos (67′ Franson), Mandalos, Gatsinovic (67′ Araujo), Fernandes (62′ Macheiras), Zuber, Van Weert (67′ Kosidis)
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