Roster full of solutions…
PAOK kicked off their Greek Cup campaign with an essential and deserved 2-0 victory over Panthrakikos in Toumba Stadium. Igor Tudor gave players of little or no time on the pitch the opportunity to prove themselves ready. The outcome of the experiment was positive. Their eagerness to please elevated the performance of the whole team who, overcoming their initial struggle to get the opener, managed to seal the encounter with two second-half goals.
PAOK took command of proceedings early on, but the players of Igor Tudor were having a tough time encountering available space, as their rivals were defending in numbers. The match failed to acquire a fast tempo because of many fouls and the “Double-Headed Eagle’s” goal attempts, both creation and finishing, were suffering. Moreover, it was Panthrakikos who came closer to netting the opener, but Panagiotis Glykos produced a huge save from 5 metres denying Rogério.
After the interval, PAOK applied pressure higher up the pitch. The introduction of Garry Rodrigues and Róbert Mak also made their attack livelier and provided solutions. Dimitris Pelkasscored in the 72nd minute after collecting the rebound from Mak´s shot on woodwork and allowed his teammates to gain the momentum and attack further. In the 86th minute, the Slovakian turned to scorer as well, with a similar goal (on the rebound after a save)…
Igor Tudor was pleased to see the midfield duo Charisis-Golasa (the Israeli started as right full-wing and then moved to midfield) winning all their duels and move the ball forward in style. Nikos Korovesis also seemed eager to distinguish himself. Stelios Malezas didn’t encounter any problems, while Giannis Skondras was among the best featuring as left centre-back. He didn’t have much work in defence, but helped considerably with his charges upfront. In this stage of the season, the knowledge that the roster can provide many solutions to the coaching staff is valuable.
PΑΟΚ: Glykos, Skondras, Malezas, Vítor, Sabo (Rodrigues 62′), Charisis, Golasa, Korovesis (Mak 62′), Jairo (Κ.Savvidis 79′), Pelkas, Athanasiadis
Panthrakikos: Paschalakis, Christou (Markopoulos 46′), Potouridis, Bougaidis, Papageorgiou, Iliadis, Σέττι, Setti, Rogério (Psaltis 69′), Baykara, Nikoltsis (Moudouroglou 78′)