Trisha Shetty

AEK Athens F.C. in European football

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Club  AEK Athens
First entry  1963–64 European Cup
AEK Athens F.C. in European football
Latest entry  2016–17 UEFA Europa League

A.E.K. Athens F.C. history and statistics in the UEFA competitions.

Contents

Campaign to the 1976–77 UEFA Cup semi-finals

The clubs most memorable moment in European competitions was the campaign to the semi-final of the UEFA Cup during the 1976–77 season under František Fadrhonc's management. In the way to the semi-final AEK Athens managed to eliminate four clubs. In the first round they faced Soviet champions Dynamo Moscow. In Athens won 2–0 with goals by Takis Nikoloudis and Mimis Papaioannou. In Moscow, Dynamo paid them back by winning 2–0 and leading the match to extra time. In the last minute of extra time, AEK Athens managed to score thanks to a penalty kick by Tasos Konstantinou and proceeded to the second round. They were drawn against English 4th placed side Derby County. In Athens a goal by Walter Wagner and an own goal by Rod Thomas gave AEK the 2-0 win. In Derby AEK Athens found themselves behind in the score line but responded scoring three times with Takis Nikoloudis, Tasos Konstantinou and Walter Wagner. Derby Country only managed to score a consolation goal and the match ended in a 2-3 win for AEK Athens. In the third round AEK Athens had to oppose Yugoslav giants Red Star Belgrade. In Athens AEK was once again victorious by winning 2-0. Mimis Papaioannou and Thomas Mavros were the goal-scorers. In Belgrade Red Star took the lead with a goal by Petar Baralić but Walter Wagner quickly equalised. The two additional goals scored by Zoran Filipović and Dušan Savić were not enough and AEK Athens won on away goals. In the quarter-final AEK Athens faced their greatest challenge to that moment, English league's runners-up QPR. The first leg was played in London. The two penalty kick goals in the first ten minutes scored by Gerry Francis and another one scored by Stan Bowles gave QPR the 3–0 win and what looked like a certain qualification. Nevertheless, AEK Athens made the impossible possible. With two goals by Thomas Mavros and ano more by Mimis Papaioannou AEK Athens sent the match to extra time and eventually to a penalty shootout. Three minutes before the final whistle, František Fadrhonc had Nikos Christidis substitute Lakis Stergioudas, the team's regular goalkeeper. His move proved vital as Nikos Christidis saved two penalties and gave AEK Athens a 7-6 win. In the semi-finals draw AEK Athens were to play either Italian league's runner-up side Juventus or Spanish league's third placed side Athletic Bilbao. Ultimately AEK Athens had to face the Italians. In Turin, Juventus scored first with Antonello Cuccureddu but AEK Athens responded with a goal by Lefteris Papadopoulos. Two goals by Roberto Bettega and one by Franco Causio followed, giving Juventus a 4-1 victory. Juventus also won in Nikos Goumas Stadium thanks to a goal scored by Roberto Boninsegna end went on to win their first European title.

2002–03 UEFA Champions League unbeaten run

Another unforgettable feat was the unbeaten run in the UEFA Champions League was the highlight of the season. The club played against Cypriot champions APOEL in the third qualifying round. In the first leg in Nicosia APOEL scored first with Marinos Ouzounidis but AEK Athens managed to take the lead with Vasilis Borbokis scoring twice. A late equaliser by Costas Malekkos did not prove enough for APOEL as Demis Nikolaidis scored during stoppage time giving his club the win. In Athens AEK Athens won thanks to a header by Mauricio Wright and entered the group stage where they were drawn against Belgian champions Racing Genk, Italian runner-up side Roma and UEFA Champions League's holders Real Madrid. AEK Athens secured two goalless draws against Racing Genk in Genk and Roma in Athens before confronting Real Madrid. Defending champions Madrid drew 3-3 with AEK, but were twice behind against the Greek side. Vasilis Tsiartas became the first player to score against the Spanish side in this season's competition with a sixth-minute free-kick. However, Madrid were soon back on level terms thanks to Zinedine Zidane's goal after 15 minutes before further goals from Christos Maladenis and Demis Nikolaidis put the hosts in the driving seat. However, another Zidane strike and a second-half Guti goal ensured Madrid left with a point. An in a way opposite match was played in Madrid where Steve McManaman's two goals put Real Madrid in front during half-time and AEK Athens equilised with goal by Kostas Katsouranis and Walter Centeno. The next match was against Racing Genk in Athens. Racing Genk scored first and AEK Athens responded with Vasilis Lakis scoring. The group stage was concluded in Rome against Roma where AEK Athens was once again behind in the scoreline by a goal scored by Marco Delvecchio but managed to score a late equiliser with Walter Centeno. The six draws AEK Athens secured are a feat no other club has ever accomplished.

The team continued in the UEFA Cup and smashed Israeli champions Maccabi Haifa by achieving two of their biggest wins ever in European competitions. They first won in Athens 4-0 with goals by Grigoris Georgatos, Demis Nikolaidis, Milen Petkov and Thodoris Zagorakis and then 4-1 in Nicosia with two goals by Vasilis Lakis and two more by Kostas Katsouranis and Dimitris Nalitzis. Walid Badir had earlier scored a penalty kick for Maccabi Haifa. AEK Athens' run was brought to an end in the last-16 round by Spanish side Málaga. They drew 0-0 in Málaga but lost 0-1 in Athens thanks to a goal by Manu.

Overall record

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Match table

Key
  • PR = Preliminary round
  • QR2 = Second qualifying round
  • QR3 = Third qualifying round
  • PO = Play-off
  • Grp = Group stage
  • R1 = First round
  • R2 = Second round
  • R3 = Third round
  • R4 = Fourth round
  • 32 = Round of 32
  • QF = Quarter final
  • SF = Semi final
  • Record by country of opposition

    Notes

  • 1 Now-defunct countries.
  • Notable records

  • AEK Athens is the only club to have drawn all their games in the group stage of the Champions League (2002–03).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have participated in the quarter-final round of all three European competitions at least once.
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have reached the semi-final of the UEFA Cup (1976–77).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have participated in the Champions League without losing a single game (2002–03).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have advanced to the quarter-final of European competitions 2 consecutive seasons (1996–97, 1997–98).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have advanced to the last 16 of European competitions 4 consecutive seasons (1994–95, 1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have advanced to the last 16 of the Cup Winners' Cup 3 consecutive seasons (1995–96, 1996–97, 1997–98).
  • AEK Athens is the only Greek club to have advanced to the last 16 of the UEFA Cup 3 consecutive seasons (2000–01, 2001–02, 2002–03).
  • AEK Athens is the first Greek club to have reached the quarter-final round of the Champions Cup (1968–69).
  • AEK Athens is the first Greek club to have participated in the Champions League (1992–93).
  • AEK Athens is the first Greek club to have participated in the group stage of the Champions League (1994–95).
  • References

    AEK Athens F.C. in European football Wikipedia


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