CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Sunday, March 7, 2010
Ivorian striker Serge Dié celebrated his return to Kavala's line-up with a splendid equalizer late in the game to keep Eddie Johnson and Aris from walking away with three points.
Johnson returned to the field as a 79th minute substitute, while Freddy Adu spent his second consecutive game on the bench.
Spanish midfielder Toni Calvo brought the visitors into the lead only eight minutes after Kavala defender Savo Pavićević's slipped in front of the Spaniard standing just inside the goal box. Calvo took advantage of the opportunity to curl a right-footer off the right post and into the net for the early 1-0 lead.
Aris controlled possession throughout the opening twenty minutes and nearly doubled the advantage when Javito dispatched a goal-bound blast that required an agile lunge from on-loan Liverpool keeper Charles Itandje.
A minute before the halftime whistle, Nigerian Benjamin Onwuatchi nearly netted an equalizer and his eleventh of the season, but watched his header ping off the right corner of the goal.
The stagnant play that characterized much of the second half was finally broken in the 78th minute, when Ivorian midfielder Serge Dié produced a golazo, stepping up for a 25-yard free kick and blasting past Michael Peškovič into the upper left netting.
The equalizer promted Aris coach Hector Cuper to make his final substitution of the affair, bringing on Eddie Johnson for Javier Cámpora. The American managed only a few touches in the remaining dozen minutes of play, as Aris had to settle for the 1-1 stalemate.
Aris inch up the standings to 39, a win behind AEK Athens, who were losers on Saturday to Larissa. Meanwhile, Aad de Mos and his Blue Argonauts remain two adrift with 37.
The Black and Golds return to Thessaloniki next Sunday for the first of two difficult games remaining in the season, a Sunday afternoon derby against crosstown-rivals PAOK.