One step closer to the title
This week was a bit weird. Everyone was focusing on anything except the Sunday match in Tripolis against Asteras. Signings, departures, arrivals and so on and so forth. Did we say “everyone”? Well, almost everyone…
The football section of the “Double-Headed Eagle” have proven time and again that, whatever happens, they remain unaffected and totally focused on their objectives. They managed to do that in a very complicated away match and recorded a 3-0 victory over Asteras Tripolis.
PAOK wanted to dictate the pace of the encounter and get possession right from the start, but the icy and extremely slippery pitch along with feisty Asteras increased the difficulty level of the match. Alexandros Paschalakis rose up to the occasion and kept his goal intact.
The refereeing trio also claimed a starring role though, disallowing Diego Biseswar’s perfectly legitimate goal on the offside rule in the 19th minute.
After the interval, PAOK stepped on the throttle, closed all spaces leading to their box and staged a siege in Asteras’s area. They came close to the opener on several occasions, especially Biseswar missing a one-on-one…
The captain stepped up in the 65th minute and broke the deadlock with his class. Adelino Vieirinha took a masterful direct free-kick from outside the box and beat Papadopoulos –a play strongly reminiscent of his iconic free-kick last May in the Olympic Stadium.
Three minutes later, Maurício sealed PAOK’s victory, culminating a textbook counterattack of the team. Biseswar provided the assist and the Brazilian netted the second goal of the “Double-Headed Eagle”.
PAOK’s second goal was a psychological blow for the Asteras’s players. Despite being reduced to ten following Léo Matos’s dismissal, the visitors didn’t allow their rivals any late surges. They even extended their lead to 3-0 with an own-goal by Triantafyllopoulos.
PAOK celebrated a huge away victory and managed to keep their distance from the pack trailing them in the standings. They now shift their focus to the upcoming home encounter against Panionios in Toumba Stadium.
Asteras Tripolis: Papadopoulos, Kyriakopoulos, Τriantafyllopoulos, Pasalidis (71’ Fernández), Kotsiras, Iglesias (87’ Douvikas), Munafo, Κaltsas, Valiente, Τsilianidis, Μanias