The better side, but no victory
PAOK travelled to Tripoli in high spirits and hoping to return to winning ways in the league after the mid-week win over AEK in the Greek Cup.
A decisive Double-headed Eagle side set out their stall to play football, hit the woodwork twice, but could only score once and so the final scoreline ended up being a 1-1 draw.
PAOK lined up at the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium with two changes in personnel compared to the match against AEK, with Swiderski and Warda starting in place of El Kaddouri and Krmencik, and the visitors seemed determined to chase an early goal.
After just five minutes, Swiderski collected a superb cross from Vieirinha and fired a shot in on goal, but Asteras goalkeeper Papadopoulos got a hand to the ball to push the effort onto the post and away to safety.
Asteras almost went ahead shortly after, but Paschalakis made up for his error in misjudging Ingason’s attempted clearance and managed to clear the ball away before it crossed the goalline.
In the 22nd minute, Swiderski sent a header from a Tzolis’ cross off Papadopoulos’ crossbar, while a minute later the Arcadians’ custodian parried away a great shot from Tzolis in impressive fashion.
There were no other major scoring opportunities until half-time, with both teams playing well defensively and not allowing each other time on the ball or space to get in behind the respective backlines.
Finally, PAOK managed to go in fron after 56 minutes. Even though it was in-form frontman Swiderski who hit the woodwork for a second time in the game following a pass from Douglas, this time he put the ball in the back of the net to make it 1-0.
In the 16th minute Vieirinha sent a free-kick narrowly over Papadopoulos’ crossbar, but four minutes later Munafo levelled the match with an equalizing goal for the home side which had a slice of fortune about it. Warda was well-positioned and tried to clear the ball, but it bounced off the midfielder’s leg and ended up in the back of Paschalakis’ net.
PAOK did not give up the ghost and the coaching team sent on Krmencik to bolster the attack, but despite camping inside the Asteras final third for the remainder of the match, the visitors could not find the winning goal they desperately searched for.
Asteras Tripolis: Papadopoulos, Kotsirasw, Alvarez, Suarez, Castano, Valiente, Munafo (78’ Bellocq), Tilica (79’ Petzis), Sito (67’ Iglesias), Fernandez (16’ Riera), Barrales.