Friendly win rounds off Dutch pre-season training camp
PAOK completed their pre-season training camp on a high note in the Netherlands with a 2-1 win over a strong Feyenoord side in Rotterdam.
PAOK found themselves behind at the Rotterdam club’s historic De Kuip ground before two minutes of play were completed, but the Double-headed Eagle remained focused, played some good football from time to time, and were energetic despite their demanding training program, and in the end managed to produce an upset and get a victory.
Razvan Lucescu once again opted to use different starting XI’s compared with the previous friendlies played in Holland, continuing to try out different players in different positions.
The Dutch opened the scoring with their early goal which was quite fortuitous from Achraf El Bouchataoui after a corner kick. But they were only able to hold on to the lead for just 12 minutes.
PAOK pressed high up the pitch and this pressured defender Marcos Senesi into making an ill-advised backpass to his goalkeeper. Nelson Oliveira was able to steal the ball and skip past the home ‘keeper, who then brought down the Portuguese forward which resulted in a penalty for the visitors. Christos Tzolis kep his cool to make it 1-1 from the spot.
Both teams had some good attacks up until the break, which included mainly some solid shots. PAOK missed two decent opportunities through Schwab, and the hosts also almost got themselves in front again on 42 minutes but Sinestra could not convert the chance presented to him.
In the second half, PAOK introduced Paschalakis, Taylor, Vieirinha, Murg, Koutsias and El Kaddouri . Feyenoord started the half in better shape, but it was PAOK who who found the back of the net. And what a goal it was. In the 52nd minute, El Kaddouri and Murg combined superbly and the Austrian shot on goal. His effort was saved by the opposing goalkeeper, but the onrushing Koutsias met the rebound to score from close range.
In the 62nd minute there was a second wave of changes, with Kurtic, Tsingaras, Mihaj and Vrakas joining the action, with Giannis Michailidis being the only player to play the whole 90 minutes.
The score did not change until the final whistle and PAOK claimed the victory comfortably in the end. The squad return to Thessaloniki on Monday (26.07), on Tuesday (27.07) the players will have a day off, and then it will be back to training on home turf in Nea Mesimvria on Wednesday afternoon (28.07) at 18:45, with the club now entering the final straight ahead of the start of competitive action.
Zivkovic (46′ Paschalakis), Rodrigo (46′ Taylor), Pereira (46′ Vieirinha), Varela (62′ Mihaj), Michailidis, Schwab (62′ Tsigaras), Esiti (62′ Kurtic), Kagawa (62′ Vrakas), A. Zivkovic (46′ Murg), Tzolis (46′ El Kaddouri), Oliveira (46′ Koutsias).