A home triumph
On 17 May 2003, PAOK added their fourth Greek Cup to their collection of silverware. It was the first one they clinched in Thessaloniki, let alone at home.
Aris were officially the home side of the 2003 final, as dictated by the draw held at EPO, but there was no way that PAOK would feel visitors at Toumba. In the past, the “Double-Headed Eagle” had been going seeking silverware away from Thessaloniki, especially in Attica. This was the first Greek Cup final to be held in Thessaloniki, and especially at Toumba, featuring PAOK as one of the contenders…
Giorgos Georgiadis’s goal in the 25th minute separated the two sides until the end and decided which club’s fans would take on the streets of Thessaloniki and gather around the White Tower to celebrate until the wee hours of the morning along with the players.
PAOK gave it all they got physically and mentally sealing the season in the best possible way. On their course to the final, they went through exhausting ties that only added to the glory of their feat.
PAOK players tamed Olympiacos in the quarter-finals and AEK Athens in the semis. They defeated the Piraeus outfit twice, won at Nea Filadelfia and drew at Toumba against the yellow-and-blacks. They remained unbeaten throughout the competition that season, coolly dismissing Leonidio, Olympiacos Volos and OFI Crete in the previous stages.
In the final, PAOK prevailed on the pitch. They took the lead through Georgiadis and were never really bothered by defense-minded Aris who woke up too late to make a difference.
Click here to read a special feature of paokfc.gr on the Greek Cup triumph of 2003, with focus on the team’s trajectory, the heroes of the win and check out the photographs from that evening.