Penalty saves, assists, goals, qualifications and promotions. There were some intense games in September for the club’s international players. Paokfc.gr takes stock with a detailed focus piece.
Dominik Kotarski was the absolute star of Croatia’s qualification for the finals of the Under-21 European Championships, which will be held in 2023. The Croatians beat Denmark in the play-offs and earned a place in the stadiums of Romania and Georgia. The PAOK goalkeeper was the man who decided the outcome as he made two saves in the penalty shootout (the two legged matches ended 2-1 and no further goals were forthcoming in extra time), and gave his country the qualification.
Konstantinos Koulierakis watched the matches of the Greek national team from the bench. Greece were defeated 1-0 in Cyprus and won 3-1 against Northern Ireland in Rizoupoli. Thus, our national team finished first in their group, moving up one category in the Nations League.
Two great wins for the Serbian national team with a 4-1 home success over Sweden and a 2-0 away win over Norway and promotion to the first division of the tournament after the Serbs topped the group. Andrija Zivkovic was in the starting XI for both games, providing the assist for Mitrovic’s opener against the Swedes.
Jasmin Kurtic was named in Slovenia’s starting XI against Norway, where the Slovenians recorded a great 2-1 win. The PAOK midfielder was shown a yellow card and subsequently missed the match in Sweden, where his country drew 1-1 and managed to stay in League 2 of the Nations League.
Thiago Dantas played the entire second half of Portugal Under-21s 4-1 friendly win against Georgia.
Diego Biseswar started the Suriname national team’s friendlies against Nicaragua and FC Zwolle. The Surinamese prevailed 2-1 in the former, with Biseswar providing the assist for the goal that made it 1-0, while they suffered a heavy 5-0 defeat in the latter match.
Greece’s Under-19 team comfortably qualified for the Elite Round of the European Championship with two wins and a draw in the games of the 1st qualifying group, held in Switzerland. Greece won 2-0 against Switzerland with goals from Spyrakos and Koutsias, and assists from Smyrlis and Goumas, and 3-0 against Andorra with goals from Koutsias (he also provided the assist for the third goal) and Tsikos. They drew 1-1 draw with the Czech Republic with the goal scored by Spirakos and an assist by Tsikos.
It’s worth reminding you that nine PAOK players competed in the Greece Under-19 team, plus Koutsias, of course, who has been loaned to Volos. Those players are: Dimitris Monastirlis, Zisi Tsikos, Lefteris Tasiouras, Nikolaos Spyrakos, Lambros Smyrlis, Haris Georgiadis, Dimitris Kottas, Taxiarchis Filon, Konstantinos Goumas.
The Greece Under-21 team also won 1-0 in an international friendly against Poland. Panagiotou and Konstantelias competed in the starting XI, while Balomenos, Darelas and Koutentakis were also used.
Max Szcnauczner also made three appearances with the Polish Under-17 national team, getting playing time in the international friendlies with Uzbekistan and Portugal, while he was in the starting lineup in the victory over England.
Ismaila Ouendraogo watched Burkina Faso’s match against Zaire from the bench.