A gritty away win in Peristeri
It was a match in which PAOK at first had victory firmly within reach. Next it was backs to the wall as the scores were leveled. Then came a winning ‘goal’ just before the end of normal time that was chalked off. Despite that, however, PAOK did not give up, and Crespo struck in added time to help the team earn a vital three-point haul in Peristeri. This was one of those matches where a team’s character shines through, at a venue which is a traditionally difficult place to come and take any points.
A rollercoaster of emotions against Atromitos at the Peristeri Municipal Stadium ended with joy inside the PAOK dressing room. It was a match where concentration and quality were key.
PAOK came into this match fully focused on the prize and managed to take a 2-0 lead inside 22 minutes. Pelkas left the home defence stunned into submission after 16 minutes, before squaring the ball for Akpom to score at the second attempt from close range.
Six minutes later it was Leo Matos‘ turn. The Brazilian right-back, known for his aggressive forward surges and potshots on goal, beat Christos Theodorakis in the Atromitos goal with a long-range shot to double the advantage.
The visitors then took complete control of the match, keeping Atromitos at bay and unable to trouble Alexandros Paschalakis. However, the team from Peristeri eventually found a way to reduce the arrears through Apostolos Vellios who headed in a cross from Giorgos Manousos.
The second half started in the same vein as the first one ended, with Atromitos scoring against the run of play through Vellios after 55 minutes.
But PAOK didn’t panic. Abel Ferreira made his moves, the team kept its calm and waited for the right moment to get the win.
Varela found the net in the 89th minute following a free-kick from Josip Micic, but the referee chalked the goal off after a VAR review.
The Double-headed Eagle of the North kept going though, and another goal came in a very similar vein. But this time Jose Angel Crespo was the player meeting Misic‘s set-piece, and he was onside, and so struck the winning goal to make it three wins out of three for PAOK in the Super League.
Atromitos (Yiannis Anastasiou): Theodorakis, Natsos, Risvanis, Goutas, Katranis, Madson, Charissis (89 ‘Ugrai), Kahila (75’ Baena), Manousos (80 N’Sikulu), Farley Rosa, Vellios