A new wind blowing
PAOK’s newcomers helped their team edge spirited Asteras Tripolis 3-2 in a rollercoaster encounter for Super League matchday 19. This important victory extended the «Two-Headed Eagle’s» winning streak to six encounters.
PAOK started strongly, as they always do, pressuring Asteras but they were struggling to make much creative capital out of the situation. On the contrary, the Tripolis outfit took the lead in the 18th minute, with a close-range shot by Manias, set up by Tsoukalas. The “Two-Headed Eagle” tried to react and managed to level ten minutes later.
Diego Biseswar charged down the left flank and crossed towards the box, where Yevhen Shakhov was lurking. The Ukrainian midfielder found the net with a volley. In the 30th minute, Biseswar drilled his shot just past the left post, while the headers of Efthymis Koulouris (35’) and Léo Matos (38’) also went wide. By then, PAOK had stamped their territorial superiority and continued bombarding Asteras’s box until the interval.
The second half started with hard-fought duels in midfield. The “Two-Headed Eagle” wasted two gilt-edged opportunities with Pedro Henrique at the stroke of the hour. The Brazilian first was denied by the right post, after the ball was handed by Hamdani. Then his header forced an instinctive save out of Donnarumma.
These wasted chances proved warning shots. In the 70th minute, one minute after coming off the bench, Aleksandar Prijović connected Matos’s pin-point with a splendid header giving PAOK the lead.
However, Manias came out of nowhere and equalized for Asteras Tripolis in the 79th minute with a header from the far post.
The black-and-whites didn’t stop trying and came up with the answer once again. Prijović turned to provider, sending the ball on Henrique’s path, who fired a powerful yet sumptuous shot in the 84th minute, to hand his new team a 3-2 victory!
PΑΟΚ: Glykos, Μatos, Crespo, Varela, Leovac, Cañas (46’ Henrique), Cimirot, Shakhov, Biseswar (87’ Charisis), Μystakidis, Κoulouris (69’ Prijović).
Asteras Tripolis: Donnarumma, Giannoulis, Selin, Hamdani, Kotsiras, Dimoutsos (66’ Fariña), Tsoukalas, Μazza (78’ Stanisavljević), Tsilianidis, Bastianos (46’ Iglesias), Manias.