SPORTS

CYPRUS drawn in Group I with Belgium, Russia, Scotland, Kazakhstan and San Marino.

Belgium are a very familiar foe for Cyprus, being in the same group for the 2018 World Cup qualifiers and the qualifiers for UEFA Euro 2016. Cyprus have never beaten Belgium in 11 meetings, 10 of which were losses. Cyprus have only played Russia 3 times, also never having beaten them.

The round-robin mini league begins on March 11-13, 2019 and concludes in November 2019.

To celebrate the tournament’s 60-year anniversary, Euro 2020 will take place in 12 different cities, stretching from Bilbao in Spain to Baku in Azerbaijan, with the final to be held at Wembley.

Realistically, Cyprus will fancy their chances to finish 3rd along with Scotland. If Cyprus are to have any hopes of finishing in the top two of the group, which leads to a ticket to the Euro final, they will need to win all four matches against Kazakhstan and San Marino and take full advantage of their home ground against the group’s other teams.

It is expected that all home matches will be held at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia. This will be Ran Ben Shimon’s first full qualifying campaign in charge. The manager from Israel took over for Christakis Christoforou in July 2017, midway through the 2018 World Cup qualifiers.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Greece drawn in Group J with Italy, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Finland, Armenia, and Liechtenstein.

The Euro 2004 winners will face Italy for the first time after 37 years, as well as Bosnia-Herzegovina (with which it shared the same World Cup 2018 group), Finland (that won the Nations League group Greece finished third in last month), Armenia and Liechtenstein.

The round-robin mini league begins on March 11-13, 2019 and concludes in November 2019.

“We have to do our best. We owe it to the Greek fans to rise to the level of the successful times the national team had in previous years,” stated new manager Angelos Anastasiadis after the draw.

“I believe in these lads, otherwise I would not have been here. There are no easy opponents, everything depends on the situation we will be in. We need to rise to the occasion and be in our best possible condition, so that we can fight for qualification,” added the experienced coach.

To celebrate the tournament’s 60-year anniversary, Euro 2020 will take place in 12 different cities, stretching from Bilbao in Spain to Baku in Azerbaijan, with the final to be held at Wembley.

The top two teams from each group qualify automatically but, unlike in previous tournaments, the play-offs to decide the four other spots will be contested between the most successful teams from the four divisions of the Nations League, who have not already qualified.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Cypriot sailor Pavlos Kontides has won the world championship for the second year running on Friday, August 10th after winning gold in the Laser category at Aarhus, Denmark.

Kontides battled it out with Australia’s Matthew Wearn who was trailing by four points. The Cypriot only had to finish behind the Aussie to win the title.

“It’s a fantastic feeling. It was a difficult race against Mat,” Kontides said after the race. “I stayed behind at first but it didn’t get me down. I chased Mat and managed to conquer the title.”

Kontides was crowned the world’s No.1 laser sailor in October 2017, after winning the silver medal in the Laser Radial Medal Race at the World Cup Series in Gamagori, Japan.

More recently, he scored another gold medal from the Laser European Championships in La Rochelle, France in May 2018.

President of the Republic of Cyprus Nicos Anastasiades congratulated the Limassol sailor.

In a Twitter message, President Anastasiades said “you gave us great joy”, congratulated Kontides and said, “you make Cyprus proud”.

During the Aarhus championships, Kontides also qualified for the Tokyo Olympics.


Article written by London Greek Radio

GREECE vs Croatia for World Cup Playoff First-Leg in Zagreb tonight, 7:45 pm kick-off UK time. Euro 2004 champions are only hours away from the first match at Stadion Maksimir looking to continue their perfect record in World Cup play-offs.

Greece, who finished behind Belgium in Group H, are hoping that captain Vasilis Torosidis and central defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos are fit.

Kostas Manolas is suspended for the first leg due to a fair play violation.

Michael Skibbe the German coach has compensated by calling up two additional defenders: Panathinaikos’ Dimitris Kolovetsios and SPAL’s Marios Oikonomou.

The second leg in Athens is on Sunday 12th November and we will all know by then whether the Greek colours will be a feature at the World Cup next summer.

Greece World Cup Playoff Squad

Goalkeepers: Orestis Karnezis, Stefanos Kapino, Giannis Anestis

Defenders: Sokratis Papastathopoulos, Kostas Manolas, Kyriakos Papadopoulos, Vassilis Torosidis, Kostas Stafylidis, Marios Oikonomou, Dimitris Kolovetsios, Georgios Tzavellas, Panagiotis Retsos, Charalampos Lykogiannis

Midfielders: Andreas Samaris, Panagiotis Tachtsidis, Giannis Maniatis, Zeca, Alexandros Tziolis, Dimitrios Kourmpelis, Kostas Fortounis, Dimitris Pelkas, Anastasios Bakasetas, Lazaros Christodoulopoulos

Forwards: Kostas Mitroglou, Dimitrios Diamantakos, Giannis Gianniotas, Apostolos Vellios


Article written by London Greek Radio

Greece will have to get past Croatia if they are to earn a spot at next summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Greece drew Croatia out of the pot on Tuesday 17th October at the 2018 World Cup playoff draw at FIFA headquarters in Zurich.

Ethniki could become the first UEFA member nation to reach three World Cups in a row via the playoffs.

Greece will travel to Croatia on November 9th for the first leg at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb with kick off scheduled for 9:45 PM local Greek time.

The return leg will take place three days later in Athens at the Karaiskakis Stadium on Sunday, November 12th, with kick off scheduled for the same time 9:45 PM local Greek time.


Article written by London Greek Radio

Tonight in a 7:45 pm kick-off in Nicosia we will see Cyprus take on Greece in a match in Group H qualification. As things stand now, the Cypriot squad still mathematically possible for them to finish as runners-up. Despite a brilliant 3-2 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina in August, the Cypriots could not repeat the result in Estonia. A 1-0 defeat away put a serious dent into Cypriot hopes of their first World Cup appearance.

The Top 8 out of 9 runner-up teams make the playoffs and for one team their qualifying hopes will simply end next week.

Greece currently in third position a single point behind Bosnia and Herzegovina will need to beat Cyprus and see-off Gibraltar in the final match on Tuesday night. The Greeks knowing that only a Belgium victory against Bosnia on top of it, second place is theirs to lose, but they will still face a nervous wait to find out who will miss the cut for the playoffs.

Cyprus coach Ben Shimon has had to deal with a few injury concerns in the lead-up to this match. One big absence is that of Omonoia attacker Demetris Christofi. A recent injury in a league match means that the 29-year-old will misses out on this qualifier. APOEL’s George Efraim is unavailable while Konstantinos Mintikkis was left out of the squad, due to injury as well. Mintikkis was replaced by Marios Stylianou, a likely back-up to first-choice right-back Jason Demetriou.

Greek manager Michael Skibbe will be ecstatic to have seen Kostas Mitroglou training with the rest of the squad this week. The Marseille striker suffered a preseason knock that saw him miss Greece’s previous two qualifiers. However, there was bad news on Thursday as it was confirmed that Tasos Donis will miss Greece’s remaining two qualifiers due to injury. That will be a big blow to Greece as Donis has been amongst the team’s top performers in recent matches.

Dimitris Diamantakos was injured after the squad announcement and his place was taken by Nottingham Forest striker Apostolos Vellios.

POTENTIAL LINE-UPS

Cyprus: Panagi, Demetriou, Laifis, Katelaris, Margaca, Laban, Artymatas, Charalambides, Kyriakou, Alexandrou, Sotiriou

Greece: Karnezis, Tzavellas, Papastathopoulos, Manolas, Torosidis, Maniatis, Zeca, Fortounis, Christodoulopoulos, Mantalos, Mitroglou


Article written by London Greek Radio

UEFA World Cup Qualifying
GROUP H

RESULTS: Sunday 3 September 2017

Estonia 1-0 CYPRUS                                             Käit 90+2′ #EST

GREECE 1-2 Belgium                                            Zeca ’73 #GRE, Vertonghen ’70, R. Lukaku ’74 #BEL

Gibraltar 0-4 Bosnia and Herzegovina         Džeko 35′, 85′, Kodro 66′, Lulić 84′ #BIH

Upcoming fixtures

7 October 2017

CYPRUS v CYPRUS
Gibraltar v Estonia
Bosnia Herzegovina v Belgium

10 October 2017
GREECE v Gibraltar
Estonia v Bosnia and Herzegovina
Belgium v Cyprus


Article written by London Greek Radio

FULL-TIME RESULT: CYPRUS 2-1 Malta
UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification
Friday 1 September 2017

Our own UK Cypriot Andreas Komodikis helped his Cyprus Under 21’s squad to register their first win against Malta, at the start of their qualification campaign for the UEFA European Under 21’s Championships, at the AEK Arena in Larnaca on Friday evening, 5 pm kick-off.

Midfielder Andreas Komodikis replaced Marios Ilias in the 46th minute to set-up second-half dominant spell…

Last month Andreas Komodikis made his debut call-up for the Under 21 team in a friendly against Moldova. The London Cypriot is signed to a three year deal with Cypriot First Division team Doxa Katokopias. Andreas Komodikis is QPR youth product and began his football career with Omonia Youth and also represented a KOPA League youth representative team when they travelled to Cyprus and played against the Cyprus national side.

The Cypriot side started much the brighter, taking the game to the Maltese players. Malta’s chance to score first on 24th minute was denied by a nice piece of intervention from Georgios Christodoulou, flicking the ball for a Maltese corner. The Cypriot’s best chance was a 29th-minute effort on goal by Nikolas Mattheou, which went wide of the Malta cross-bar. Cyprus created three chances in quick succession on the 31st-minute mark. The visitors were the team that struck first, however.

Maltese player Jean Borg headed in for them in the 33rd minute giving the away team the lead. Malta usefully exploited a corner which Andreas Christodoulou conceded while defending the Cypriot area. The hosts responded very quickly, scoring an equaliser in the 41st minute that levelled it to 1-1, with a goal by Rafael Anastasiou. It was set-up very nicely by a well-taken foul by Ioannis Pittas with the Cypriots now piling on the sustained pressure on Maltese goal itself.

Midfielder Andreas Komodikis replaced Marios Ilias in the 46th minute and the Cypriot team; looked strong and dominant at the start of the second-half. The Cypriots spent that half, pouring forward in numbers, looking for the decisive break, to win the game outright.

For Cyprus, their deserved victory had to wait till stoppage-time, thanks to a goal through Thodoros Iosifidis in the 92nd minute. Kyriakos Panayi converted a foul which sent the ball into the heavily congested Maltese penalty area – which Iosifidis latched on to, ensuring the Cypriots got off to a winning start. 2-1!! on the night…

The Cyprus Under-21 squad: Andreas Christodoulou, Andreas Karo, Christos Wheeler, Rafael Anastasiou, Panayiotis Artymatas, Kyriacos Panayi, Georgios Christodoulou (76′ Antonis Koumis), Constantinos Sotiriou, Ioannis Pittas, Marios Ilias (46′ Andreas Komodikis), Nikolas Mattheou (60′ Thodoros Iosifidis)

Cyprus will face Sweden with the away fixture on September 5. The other teams in group 6, Belgium versus Turkey, Hungary take on Malta.


Article written by London Greek Radio

CYPRUS back from two goals down to earn a memorable 3-2 win over Bosnia & Herzegovina in Thursday’s Group H Fifa World Cup qualifier.

The sensational comeback leaves them within three points of second placed Greece and is giving the Cypriot side a spring in their step, installing at least some new confidence in World Cup qualifying. Bosnia in the first-half had dominated the match, with strikes by Šunjić on 33 minutes and Višća, just before half-time on the 44th minute.

It was Ran Ben Shimon’s first match in charge as Cyprus manager, and the Israeli’s team talk looked to have inspired the side as they emerged from the break with a different attitude.

Christofi and Laban scored in the three-minute period on the 65th minute and 67th minute respectively, to level at 2-2. The rejuvenated looking Cypriot squad made it 3-2 with another brilliant piece of Cypriot attacking football, thanks to Sotiriou in the 76th minute.

Suddenly Group H is a very interesting ‘group fixture’ with Cyprus only 1 point adrift of Bosnia and Herzegovina on 10 points.

Cyprus will take a trip to Estonia on Sunday, with a fresh renewed belief in their qualifying campaign that’s for sure.

Meanwhile Greece on 13 points in the second playoff spot will face Belgium on home turf.


Article written by London Greek Radio

GREECE wasn’t able to score against Estonia at a game that resulted in a 1-1 draw at the Stadio Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens for the World Cup Qualifiers on Thursday night, 31st August. This leaves the Greek team in second place on 13 points – trailing six points behind Belgium. Still, retaining a ‘grip’ on the playoff spot, however – two points clear of Bosnia and Herzegovina, who lost to Cyprus 3-2 in Nicosia on the same night.

Meanwhile, Cyprus travel to Estonia on Sunday, buoyed by their winning result and only a point adrift from Bosnia and Herzegovina on 10 points.

The Greek team face group leaders Belgium.


Article written by London Greek Radio