Blowing off the cobwebs with a friendly win
PAOK defeated Volos FC 3-1 in the club’s first friendly match of pre-season at the Toumba with coach Razvan Lucescu trying out all of his available players during the 90 minutes.
After 10 days of hard pre-season training, the Double-headed Eagle players got the opportunity to step onto the hallowed turf of the Toumba for the club’s first informal friendly test of the new campaign, and to see in practice the level of their work done so far.
Razvan Lucescu used two different starting XI’s against the Magnesia club and had the chance to see his players apply out on the pitch everything they have been working on since returning to their training base in Nea Mesimvria.
In the first half, Volos’ pressing high up the pitch created several problems for PAOK in their build-up play, but the home side still had some good periods of play but without troubling the opposition goalkeeper.
Volos then took the lead in the 39th minute thanks to a header by Van Wert following a corner. PAOK responded almost immediately, however, in the 44th minute with Andrija Zivkovic playing in Gorteziani with a great pass, with the latter levelling matters with an impeccable finish.
The second half started in perfect fashion for the home side. Esiti collected an assist from Taylor and made it 2-1 with a powerful shot just two minutes after the restart. The pace of the match was good throughout the second half with both teams playing openly and in the mood to create chances, despite the many changes that both sides made.
PAOK were the team who managed to score again though and kill the game off. It came from a corner in the 86th minute with Michailidis rising highest to meet Murg’s delivery to score and make the final score 3-1.
Zivkovic (46′ Paschalakis), Rodrigo (46′ Taylor), Mihaj (46′ Varela), Crespo (46′ Michailidis), Lyratzis (46′ Vieirinha), Tsingaras (46′ Esiti), Schwab (46′ Ninua), A Zivkovic (46′ Murg), Tzolis (46′ Warda), Lambrou (46′ Vrakas), Gorteziani (46′ Koutsias).