Lifeline thrown at the end
The unbearable heat didn’t allow Igor Tudor’s players to manage their physical condition well. However PAOK kicked off proceedings rather well, controlled the match tempo and they were the ones to create the first big opportunities in the match, with Μak and Κitsiou who wasted one-on-one situations.
Luck was on the side of the Croatians, who took the lead through Kolar. PAOK were wasting chances on their frequent visits to the hosts’ box, but it was NK Lokomotiva who were on target again and made it 2-0 with a header by Andrijašević.
The complexion of the encounter changed after the interval. Leading 2-0, NK Lokomotiva closed up spaces and settled for a counterattacking game, while PAOK continued their spree of wasted chances. Fatigue became all the more apparent for the players of the “Double-Headed Eagle” who were also frustrated by the missed opportunities to get back into the game.
Finally Μak redeemed himself for the wasted chances and handed PAOK the opportunity to get back into the tie. His beautiful goal in the 90th minute means that the “Double-Headed Eagle” are back on the driver’s seat. However NK Lokomotiva are a good a feisty side and will not be trifled with at Toumba Stadium.
NK Lokomotiva: Zelenika, Bartolec, Mrčela, Prenga, Šovšić, Begonja, Bručić, Andrijašević, Leko, Marić (73′ Mišić), Κolar (65′ Doležal)
PΑΟΚ: Olsen, Skondras (79′ Raț), Vítor, Costa, Tzavellas, Kitsiou, Tziolis (61′ Maduro), Mak, Kace, Pelkas, Salpingidis (68′ Mystakidis).