-- PAOK on the Brink of Elimination --
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP J (MATCHDAY 4)
|PAOK||0 - 1||Qarabaq|
PAOK fell at home to Qarabag 0-1 for the 4th matchday of the Europa League and is on the brink of elimination. The Dikefalos tou Vorra put on yet another horrible performance against the team from Azerbaijan and will need to pull off big results in their final matches to have any hopes from qualifying from Group J.
After falling rather easily in Azerbaijan to Qarabag in matchday 3, PAOK needed all three points to stay in command of Group J. PAOK did have more possession of the ball in the first half, but Qarabag was well stationed tactically in the back, leaving very little room for the hosts to create a good chance on goal. Qarabag was content to sit back and the first half ended in a goalless draw.
It was more of the same in the second half, but Qarabag stunned the home supporters with their first chance of the match when Michel’s (former player of AEK) shot beat Glykos to give his side the 0-1 lead in the 69th minute. Despite falling behind in the score and needing a good result from today’s game, PAOK was unable to threaten their opponents and their only real chance of the game came in the 85th minute when Pererya’s effort completely missed the target. The visitors held onto their 0-1 victory, their first ever win away from home in European play, and are now the clear favorites to progress from Group J.
The win keeps PAOK on 4 points and are now three points behind second placed Qarabag. Additionally, PAOK has a disadvantage in a tiebreaker scenario with the team from Azerbaijan due to their head-to-head record. PAOK must win their final two matches and will also need other results to go their way if they have any hopes of progressing to the next round. In Matchday 5, they will travel to Italy to play the group leaders, Fiorentina, who defeated Slovan Liberec 0-3 in the group’s other match of the day.