PAOK secure away win over PAS Giannina in Athens
This time PAOK did everything right. The opportunities were converted into goals, the players were focused and solid at the back, mistakes were limited, and it all meant that the Double-headed Eagle celebrated an important win on the road against a battling PAS Giannina side in a match held in a snowy Athens due to the poor condition of the Zosimades pitch in Ioannina.
Initially, the finale of the first half awakened unhappy memories. PAOK had not yet managed to score despite wasting numerous opportunities to do so, which included a missed penalty from Vieirinha . But a purple patch at the start of the second half helped the Double-headed Eagle to lock up the victory, return to winning ways, and move up to second in the standings.
PAOK began the match with very few changes compared to the previous match against Lamia in the Greek Cup.
Zivkovic started between the posts, behind a back four of Vieirinha, Crespo, Ingason, and Rodrigo , with a central midfield trio of Schwab , Tsingaras and Warda in front of them. The three-pronged attack was made up of Α.Ζivkovic, Tzolis and Krmencik .
PAOK took control of possession from early on and set the tempo of the game, immediately trying to threaten Lodygin’s goal. Tzolis had two good efforts on goal in the opening 10 minutes, and The Golden Boy also sent in a good cross for Krmencik after 19 minutes, but the Czech failed to take advantage.
One minute later came the most important moment of the half. Tzolis crossed from the left, and Economopoulos stopped the ball with his hand, prompting the referee to point to the penalty spot.
Adelino Vieirinha stepped up to take the penalty kick, but he sent the ball over the crossbar. Before the half-time interval there were also chances for Schwab and Warda, but neither could convert their opportunity into a goal and the teams went in 0-0 at the break.
In the second half PAOK looked like a team determined not to be denied, pressing forward and finally going in front in the 56th minute courtesy of a brilliant individual effort from Andrija Zivkovic.
The Double-headed Eagle did not take their foot off the accelerator and created more chances, but no more goals were forthcoming, with Lodygin also denying Tzolis in a one-on-one situation which was PAOK’s best chance of the second half aside from the goals.
PAOK managed the rest of the game comfortably, not allowing PAS so much as a sniff until the final whistle signalled the end of what was a convincing away win for the Double-headed Eagle.
PAS Giannina: Lodygin, Economopoulos (63′ Saliakas), Erramuspe, Pantelakis, Peersman, Brener (31′ Milinceanu), Liasos (63′ Castro), Dominguez, Kartalis (63′ Eletheriadis), Palmidis, Krizman