Loan watch: Xande Silva makes immediate impact from the bench

Xande Silva playing for Aris FC

Two West Ham United loanees were in action for their respective clubs over the weekend.

In Super League Greece, 23-year-old Xande Silva played his part in an impressive second-half fightback as ten-man Aris Thessaloniki FC came from two down to draw at Atromitos.

The Portuguese forward came into the game having netted a brilliant first senior league goal in midweek, weaving in between several defenders before cutting inside and firing in a low shot in injury-time in the 3-0 win over Larissa on Wednesday.

Having been a second-half substitute on that occasion, as well as when he attained his first senior assist in last week’s loss to Olympiakos, Silva once again began Saturday’s game on the bench.

In a match initially of few chances, Atromitos were handed a huge advantage ten minutes before half-time when Aris defender Lindsay Rose was adjudged to have handled a goal-bound shot; the Mauritian was dismissed, and Giorgos Manousos emphatically converted the subsequent penalty.

Atromitos doubled their lead shortly after the restart with a brilliant finish by Juan Muniz moments before Silva entered the fray for Aris with half-an-hour remaining.

His impact was immediate. After Atromitos’ defenders failed to clear their lines, Silva raced onto a loose ball, flicked it past a defender, sprinted to the byline and played low into the box for Ergys Kace to sweep in from the six-yard area. 

It was an excellent assist, and a third goal involvement in three games from Silva, which spurred his side on, leading to Lucas Sasha blasting home a similar finish from the opposite flank with just under ten minutes remaining, completing the turnaround.

Following the stunning comeback to 2-2, Aris remain in the top positions of Super League Greece, sitting in third place – two points behind leaders Olympiakos – having lost just one of their opening ten games.

Having well and truly caught the eye in recent matches from the bench, Silva will now look to secure his second start of the season when Aris host local rivals PAOK Thessaloniki FC next Sunday.


A post shared by Xande Silva (@xande_silva45)

Elsewhere, Winston Reid and Sporting Kansas City’s Major League Soccer season came to an end with a 3-0 defeat to Minnesota United at Children’s Mercy Park.

Missed early chances proved costly for Reid’s team in the 2020 MLS Playoffs Western Conference semi-final, with three salient opportunities going begging for the hosts inside the first quarter-of-an-hour.

The game slipped away from Reid and Sporting, however, when Minnesota netted three times between the 27th and 39th minutes, a clinical brace from Kevin Molino and a set-piece goal from Bakaye Dibassy granting the visitors a comfortable cushion.

Few chances ensued in the second half as the result seemed settled, with Sporting KC left to rue profligate finishing and the form of Minnesota goalkeeper Dayne St Clair inside that critical opening spell.

Reid and Sporting KC’s seasons conclude with them finishing as semi-finalists in the Western division of the MLS Playoffs, after having topped the league table for the fourth time in ten seasons.

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