There is no doubt that matchday 16 of the Greek league was the best matchday of the season. With late goals and important derby victories there was a lot to enjoy in the six games played on Saturday.
The showdown between second-placed Vouliagmeni and third-placed Ethnikos was a much-anticipated clash, and it was Ethnikos who emerged victorious with a well-deserved, but unexpected, 10-6 win.
In two other matches, the thrill and excitement escalated as the games were decided in the dying moments. Alimos and Patra were locked in a tense battle, and it was Eleni Paterou who rescued a point for Alimos with a last-gasp goal in their final attack of the game, leading to a 10-10 draw. Meanwhile, Rethymnou and AEK fought tooth and nail in a grueling match that saw Ekaterina Lipaki net a crucial goal with a mere fifteen seconds left on the clock, resulting in a heart-wrenching 11-10 defeat for Rethymnou.
Olympiacos and Glyfada dominated their respective matches with ease, recording emphatic victories against Panionios and Larissa, respectively. The in-form team of the league, PAOK, continued their winning streak with a resounding triumph over Peristeri.
Looking ahead, the next matchday promises to be just as exciting, with some thrilling clashes on the horizon. However, due to their Champions League obligations, both Olympiacos and Glyfada will play in mid-week; the reigning champions have a derby game with Vouliagmeni, while Glyfada will be going head-to-head with Patra.
NC Vouliagmeni 6 – 10 Ethnikos (3-1, 0-1, 2-3, 1-5)
Vouliagmeni: M. Kotsioni, S. Kaifa 1, D. Kalogeropoulou, E. Elliniadi 1, A. Giannopoulou, A. Ridge 1, E. Douli, E. Wright 2, K. Stratidaki 1, D. Andreadi, F. Angelidi, E. Patras, E. Markatseli, N. Krassa.
Ethnikos: E. Sotireli, A. Karampetsou, M. Borisova 2, V. Laskaridou, I. Kontoni 2, E. Beta, F. Chatzikyriakaki 1, A. Benekou 2, M. Rakitzi, E. Kanetidou 1, I. Benekou, A. Andrews 2, A. Bekri, E. Katsimpri, A. Klapsianou.
Second-placed Vouliagmeni were stunned by third-placed Ethnikos, with the Blue-Whites from Piraeus taking a spectacular 10-6 victory over the Nautical Club.
An all-round excellent performance for Ethnikos saw them grab three unexpected points against Kiki Liosi’s side. Two goals from Mariia Borisova, Charlize Andrews and Alkistis Benekou helped take the points away from home.
Vouliagmeni started brighter, finding a 2-0 lead in the first, which was soon extended to 3-1 after eight minutes. Maria Borsova’s strike was the only conversion in the second period, which drew Ethnikos within a single score at the turnaround (3-2).
Ethnikos turned the game around early in the third, with excellent finishes from Foivi Chatzikyriaki and Eleni Kanetidou to give Ethnikos the lead for the first time. However, the hosts once again made progress from centre, with Emma Wright and Kiki Stratidaki sending both teams level into the final period (5-5).
The early game in the last quarter was pivotal. Andrews and Borisova both found scores inside the opening two minutes that gave Ethnikos something to hold onto. Canadian Emma Wright halved the deficit, but Ethnikos were controlling the ball better, and strikes from Kontoni and Alkistis Benekou then paved the way for a huge win on the Aegean coast.
Alimos NAC 10 – 10 NE Patra (4-3, 1-1, 2-3, 3-3)
Alimos: E. Lazaris, N. Chaldaiou 2, E. Kovacevic, N. Piovan, J. Lykothanasis 4, E. Paterou 1, A. Asimaki 2, S. Logothetis 1, L. Mihailovic, M. Bitsakou, E. Tsimara, I. Helmi, M. Karagianni, D. Theofanopoulou.
Patra: A. Giannakea, A. Androutseli 1, V. Zofoli, E. Tsimara, M. Balatsa 2, M. Petasi 1, D. Koureta 4, O. Moirali 2, M. Kepenou, V. Paraskevopoulos, L. Steenbeck, I. Rack.
Alimos left it late, but salvaged a point against Patra in a dramatic 10-10 tie.
Eleni Paterou’s late equalising goal, with less than thirty seconds to play, spared Alimos’s blushes in a game they will have hoped to have won prior to the match.
Alimos led 4-3 after a back and forth first quarter. The hosts could have had a two goal margin, but Lena Mihailovic couldn’t convert her five metre penalty. The status quo was kept heading into halftime (5-4), although it was Patra’s turn to miss a penalty, with Lazaris in between the Alimos sticks keeping out Maria Balatsa’s shot.
Things started to go Alimos’s way in the third sector, as they then built a two goal lead for the first time, but Patra hit back with two successive scores to level the game at 6-6. Patra led momentarily, but the score was 7-7 heading into the last.
Alimos once again took a two score lead (Lykothanasis and Asimaki), but a determined Patra would not be beaten, finding two more goals for 9-9. As the last two minutes approached, the Dolphins then looked like they might take maximum point via Athina Androuseli’s conversion, but Elena Paterou, fresh from her coaches timeout, found the back of the next inside the penultimate attack.
The two dropped points for Alimos means they find themselves trailing four points behind Glyfada.
Olympiacos 12 – 5 Panionios GSS (3-1, 2-1, 4-2, 3-1)
Olympiacos: C. Diamantopoulou, E. Plevritou, I. Chydirioti, N. Eleftheriadou 1, F. Tricha 2, C. Siouti 1, M. Plevritou 1, S. Tornarou, V. Plevritou 5, S. Santa 1, M. Myriokefalitaki 1, I. Stamatopoulou, Z. Tjortzakaki, A. Christodoulou-Out.
Panionios: A. Mitsou, P. Casey, I. Mavrotas 1, M. Bogachenko 1, A. Kotsafti, M. Mastrokallou 1, M. Thomopoulou, E. Loudis, C. Kotsia 1, A. Loudis 1, D. Papanastasiou, A. Papanastasiou, C. Katsou, A. Mitsou.
The reigning champions continue to tear through the league, with another victory over a gritty Panionios side (12-5).
Vasiliki Plevritou was the Red-Whites best scorer with five goals in a deserved victory over their city rivals.
It’s a busy week coming up for the reigning Greek and European champions. They have a tough assignment in mid-week against Vouliagmeni, before they travel to Spain to repair the damage from their first leg defeat in the Champions League by Mataro.
Panionios stay comfortably in mid-table.
NC Rethymnou 11 – 12 AEK (2-3, 3-1, 3-4, 3-4)
Rethymnou: M. Poulopoulou, D. Lampathaki, B. Doyle 7, K. Kyriakaki, M. Farmaki 1, N. Tsiougri 1, M. Zafiraki, A. Sanchez 2, S. Libitaki, E. Farmaki, A. Libitaki, E. Libitaki.
AEK: D. Nigro, K. McKenty 1, Paterou, Georgiou, A. Kalaitzi 1, A. Gilla 2, A. Frangelaki, E. Roumelioti 1, E. Liapaki 2, Dassiou 3, K. Michailidou 2, Founti, H. Biniari, Fella, A. Peteinatou.
AEK take a valuable three points from their trip to Chania with a goal inside the last 15 seconds to down Rethymnou 12-11.
Ekaterina Lipaki’s goal in the dying seconds denied Rethymnou what would have been an extremely welcomed point.
Bernie Doyle’s heroic seven goal effort throughout the game was more than deserving of points for Odysseas Bariotaki’s team, with her last goal coming within the final minute of the game too.
The three points lifts AEK to 10pts for this season, putting some distance between them and 9th place Larissa. It’s a bitter blow for the side from Crete, who are rock bottom of the league on 4pts.
PAOK 10 – 5 Peristeri SC (3-0, 2-1, 3-3, 2-1)
PAOK: E. Lerioti, A. Bikou, E. Pustinikova 1, E. Tzelepi 1, M. Karypidou, I. Paraskevopoulou, P. Graikou, A. Akilbayeva, D. Fragia 5, C. Dona-Tsiaka, V. Niarhakou 1, A. Tzourka, I. Karypidou 2.
Peristeri: C. Zafeiraki, A. Kolitsopoulou, S. Fragaki, E. Grozopoulou, C. Apostolidou, D. Konstantopoulou 1, E. Loukopoulou, Berikou 1, P. Petta 3, D. Bekri, M. Gotzia, A. Papasifaki.
PAOK has its sixth win of the season, taking three points with relative ease against Peristeri (10-5).
Five star performance from Despina Fragia helped the Thessalonians to victory in a game they impressed in from the start.
A lot of credit also has to go to PAOK’s goalkeeper, Alexia Tzourka, who made two penalties saves.
A 3-0 set them out the traps with purpose, and a 5-1 lead at half-time gave them a sizable lead to defend in the remaining sixteen minutes.
PAOK are comfortably in eighth place, and are slowly creeping up on Patra in seventh. It’s been a great few weeks for Panagiotis Vergos’s team, in which they have defeated Alimos and tied with Glyfada.
ANO Glyfada 23 – 7 NC Larissa (6-2, 7-1, 4-2, 6-2)
Glyfada: E. Karytsa, P. Ninou 3, T. Moustakaria 1, I. Wolves 4, E. Grigoropoulou 4, I. Ninou 7, E. Antoniadi, I. Kanellopoulou, I. Koolhaas, E. Fountontou 1, L. Katsoni 1, S. Kontogianni 2, V. Tsiara, R. Kakaidi, D. Adami.
Larissa: E. Archontaki, A. Kokkinou, I. Touloumtzidou, V. Hasioti 2, D. Kalogianni, A. Safeti, A. Koltsida 1, G. Sakellariou, K. Rogers 2, T. Galanopoulou 1, M. Mastori, A. Clapperton 1.
Seven goals from Glyfada’s top goal-scorer, Irini Ninou, helped Glyfada on their way to a very comfortable victory over Larissa.
Glyfada will be pleased with a strong attacking display ahead of a trip to Patra in the midweek, before travelling to Catania for their Champions League quarter-final second leg, where they trail Ekipe Orizzonte.
A strong opening quarter set the tone for what was to come for Larissa, before an ugly second quarter saw them down by ten goals (13-3). Nothing improved much in the second half, as Glyfada stayed hot on Ethnikos’ heels in fourth place, trailing by a single point.
Ninou netted seven, but there were four goals for summer signing Iris Wolves, and Elena Grigoropoulou on Glyfada’s way to their eleventh win of the season.
It’s seven defeats in a row for Larissa.
NE Patra vs ANO Glyfada (22 Feb)
Olympiacos vs Vouliagmeni (22 Feb)
AEK vs Alimos NAC
NC Larissa vs PAOK
Peristeri SC vs Ethnikos
Panionios vs NC Rethymnou