PAOK got what they wanted
PAOK secured a valuable point in the Olympic Stadium drawing 0-0 with AEK Athens. The “Double-Headed Eagle” remained unbeaten and will give it all in the last play-off match against Panathinaikos.
Despite the players’ fatigue, the match started strongly. PAOK looked in control and more fresh than their opponents. They went on to produce the biggest opportunities of the first half. Garry Rodrigues had a shot on woodwork, while Stefanos Athanasiadis’s close-range shot was saved in extremis by Anestis.
In the 32nd minute, Giorgos Tzavellas brought down Pekhart as the latter was charging into the area and the Greek international was sent off by referee Kominis. Vladan Ivić’s players managed to defend their box impeccably despite being a player down and were not threatened by AEK in the first half.
AEK were also reduced to 10 players in the first minutes of the second half, as Pekhart was given his marching orders in the 50th minute. The towering centre back of AEK Athens received his second booking of the evening for kicking Miguel Vítor in the stomach (he got his first for elbowing Alexandros Tziolis).
Given their fatigue and the fact that a draw suited their plans as well, the “Double-Headed Eagle” played accordingly. AEK Athens became more threatening through set pieces and also had a shot on woodwork with Aravidis. Ergys Kace came close to breaking the deadlock with a stunning volley pushed away by Anestis.
The 0-0 draw guarantees that PAOK have their luck in their own hands in the final play-off encounter against Panathinaikos. Vladan Ivić’s troops started with two points less than their rivals, but managed to overtake them in the standings despite playing for 100 minutes with numerical inferiority in their away matches against Panathinaikos and AEK Athens.
The last match in packed Toumba presents a golden opportunity to seal the season with a major promise ahead of the next one: PAOK participating in the UEFA Champions League qualifiers.
ΑΕΚ: Anestis, Galo, Arzo, Kolovetsios (89′ Buonanotte), Dídac, Simões, Johansson (76′ Platellas), Mantalos, Bakakis (46′ Aravidis), Pekhart, Barbosa.
PΑΟΚ: Glykos, Leovac, Vítor, Tzavellas, Κitsiou, Τziolis (59′ Μalezas), Κace, Charisis (66′ Cimirot), Mak, Rodrigues (90′ Skondras), Athanasiadis.