U20s lost to PAS Giannina
Bad luck and bad finishing were to blame for the U20s’ 2-0 loss to PAS Giannina at Nea Mesimvria on Saturday.
PAOK U20s failed to prolong their winning streak, as they suffered a home defeat to PAS Giannina on Saturday. Despite enjoying control of the encounter, they ended up paying for two moments of sloppy defending and their lack of finishing.
Vladan Ivić fielded a 4-3-3 formation and PAOK kicked off strongly, pushing for an early goal. Two headers by Κakko and some long-range shots went wide. PAS Giannina recovered ground towards the end of the first half.
In the 45th minute, against the run of play, the visitors broke the deadlock. After a corner, Soilemezoglou came out for the ball, collided with one of his defenders and failed to block, the ball was deflected off Tsiampazis’ foot and ended up at the back of the net.
Ivić tried to inject some attacking spirit into his troops and switched to a 4-4-2 by introducing Kushta instead of Ktistopoulos. In his first involvement in the game, Kushta came close to scoring with an impressive overhead scissors kick following a pin-point cross by Tsolakidisin the 48th minute. Seven minutes later, the rival goalkeeper denied Syrakos’ powerful drive. PAOK were stepping on the throttle, but the referee messed with their rhythm by insisting that Tsiampazis should leave the field and change shirts due to bleeding.
After a slight unrest that led to PAOK defender’s substitution, the team’s pace dropped. PAS Giannina barricaded themselves behind a double defensive line, pushing away all crosses by PAOK. Their plan of hitting through counterattacks paid dividends in the 84th minute, when they culminated one with an exquisite shot to extend their lead.
This defeat makes it extremely difficult for PAOK youngsters to finish third in the league.
PAOK U20: Soilemezoglou, Topalidis, Tselepidis, Chatzidimpas, Tsiampazis (67’ Dodontsakis), Patralis, Ktistopoulos (46′ Kushta), Panagiotidis, Tsolakidis, Kakko (58′ Pouflis), Syrakos.