PAOK were held to a 1-1 draw by their evil genius PAS Giannina after a pale performance of the home side, especially anemic in attack. The scoreline is far from what the team of Giorgos Georgiadis wished on Sunday. The Greek coach tried out several recipes during the encounter, but to no avail.
Alexandros Tziolis and Stefanos Athanasiadis started on the bench, while Răzvan Raț, Miguel Vítor and Dimitris Papadopoulos were all suspended. These absences called for a 4-4-2 formation, with Efthymis Koulouris in the initial line-up after a long time.
PAOK started strongly, immediately charging forward. Noboa came close to an opener but was denied by the post. However it was PAS Giannina who opened their account instead, Chávez culminating a textbook counterattack. It took the “Double-Headed Eagle” just two minutes to strike back. Following a corner kick by Noboa, Facundo Pereyra tapped the ball in to equalize.
After the interval, PAOK’s attack became predictable, failing to encounter space, their pace dropped and their decision-making suffered. They did create some chances to take the lead though. Klaus came close twice, Kace and Mak also tried their luck but it wasn’t to be.
There is a good chance that the two sides will meet again in the play-offs. PAOK need to find a way to get past feisty PAS Giannina, who remained undefeated in three encounters against the “Double-Headed Eagle” this season.
PΑΟΚ: Itandje , Konstantinidis , Tzavellas, Costa, Skondras, Kace, Noboa, Mak, Golasa (78′ Pozoglou), Pereyra (76′ Tziolis), Koulouris (62′ Athanasiadis).
PAS Giannina: Vellidis, Nadales, Michail, Tzimopoulos, Struna, Tsoukalas (85′ Berios), Charisis, Korovesis (82′ Dasios), Chávez, Ilić, Manias (82′ Giakos).