Overcoming adversities and displaying strong character, PAOK edged out a valuable point from Leoforos in their 1-1 draw with Panathinaikos.
Vladan Ivić’s team were in numerical disadvantage for more than 70 minutes, as referee Κyzas sent off Alexandros Tziolis in the 23rd minute for dangerous foul play. But even with 10 players on the pitch, PAOK were rarely threatened by Panathinaikos’s attacks while also keeping their focus despite their rivals’ tough tackles who went unpunished most of the times.
One would expect that PAOK would give up after falling behind just after the second half started, as Berg scored the opener from the edge of the area. But the “Double-Headed Eagle” managed to equalize following a fine attacking move and an outstanding long-range finish by Charis Charisis.
PAOK came closer to gain the lead, but Garry Rodrigues mistimed his pass to Stefanos Athanasiadis who was going one on one with Steele.
Ivić asked his players to mind the spaces and focus on the duels. They obliged and won almost all of them until the final whistle. Panathinaikos had just the shot on post by Berg to show for. The final 1-1 scoreline gives PAOK the advantage over Panathinaikos as the “Greens” will visit packed Toumba (the first match after the ban) on matchday 6.
Without much talk and by proving their worth on the pitch, “Double-Headed Eagle” have already four points in the play-offs and are optimistic about their tough encounters ahead.
Panathinaikos: Steele, Mesto, Tavlaridis, Moledo, Νano, Κoutroubis (78’ Κaltsas), Lagos, Αbeid (60’ Boumal), Villafáñez, Leto, Berg.
PΑΟΚ: Glykos, Κitsiou, Leovac, Τzavellas, Μalezas, Τziolis, Cimirot, Charisis, Mak (59’ Ζάιρο, 68′ Skondras), Rodrigues (78’ Μystakidis), Αthanasiadis.