Battling PAOK B go down fighting [pictures]
PAOK B slipped to a 2-1 home defeat by league leaders Veria at the Makedonikos Stadium on Matchday 4 of the 2021-22 Betsson Super League 2.
The mission was by default a tough one. Veria is one of the strongest teams in the group, with a talented squad of players, an experienced coaching staff, and had already proved their credentials during the first three games of the season, arrivng in Thessaloniki as the leader in the standings.
But PAOK B did not show their opponents too much respect, and were not afraid. In fact, it was the opposite situation. The home side put in a solid effort, putting the visitors under pressure and giving them a huge scare right until the final whistle, despite the fact that they ended the game with nine players.
The Double-headed Eagle started impressively and went in front early on in the second minute thanks to a goal from Panidis. The hosts continued to push and just a few minutes later missed a vital opportunity to double their advantage, with Veria goalkeeper Vellidis saving a shot from Panidis.
The response from Veria came in the 23rd minute. Pozoglou sent a cross into the penalty area and the onrushing Giakoumakis beat PAOK B goalkeeper Bourganis with a header to make it 1-1.
Three minutes later the visitors managed to turn the game on its head with Giakoumakis winning a penalty kick from Panagiotous’ foul, and Pasha scoring from the sot to make it 2-1 to Veria.
After half-time, PAOK B’s coaching team made three changes in an effort to counter against Veria, introducing Ouedraogo, Gaitanidis and Chatzistravos.
The home side began the half strongly and seemed determined to get an equalizer. In the 51st minute, however, there was a decisive moment which effectively decided the outcome of the game. Salamouras was sent-off after picking up a second yellow card for a foul and left his team with a numerical disadvantage with 10 players.
That setback, however, did not discourage the PAOK B players who continued to push forward and look for a draw. Some good chances were created, but two promising opportunities by Gaitanidis were blocked by Vellidis in the Veria goal.
In the 78th minute Petavrakis was sent off for Veria meaning it was now 10 vs. 10, but then shortly afterwards on 86 minutes the referee booked Tachatos for a second time for diving and he was subsequently sent off. That left the home side battling with 9 players for the last 4 minutes and they could not find a way to threaten the Veria goal again before the final whistle.
PAOK B: Bourganis, Tachatos, Tsaousis, Koulierakis, Panagiotou, Meletidis (Ouedraogo 46΄), Salamouras, Tzimas (Gaitanidis 46′), Spyridis (Grosdis 70′), Fasidis (Chatzistravos 46′), Panidis (70).
Veria: Vellidis, Petavrakis, Boukouvalas, Skondras, Maragos, Oikonomou, Mourgos (Ramos 77′), Gavriilidis, Giakoumakis (Fofana 77′), Pasha, Pozoglou.