- PAS Giannina "Escapes" From Norway -
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 2ND QUALIFYING ROUND (LEG 2)
|Odd BK||3 - 1 (AET)||PAS Giannina|
|Nordkvelle (p) 55'
|(3 - 4)
| Koutris 98'
Although PAS Giannina blew their 3-0 first leg lead in normal regulation, they were able to find the all-important away goal in extra time to win 3-4 on aggregate against Odd BK. The Norwegians scored 3 second half goals, the final in the 89th minute, to send the game into extra time (3-3 on aggregate). Koutris scored the deciding goal for PAS Giannina in the 98th minute, sending the Greeks to the 3rd Qualifying Round of the UEFA Europa League.
PAS Giannina were the clear favorites to advance to the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying Round after their 3-0 win in Greece in the first leg. PAS created the first good chance of the game in the 3rd minute of play, when Tzimopoulos’ header was cleared off the line. After the opportunity, the pace of the game fell which benefited PAS Giannina. Odd Bk controlled the possession from there but failed to score in the first half. Late in the second half, the Epirotes were denied again off the line with the score remaining goalless at the half time whistle.
One mistake from Karanikas changed the game in the second half. The PAS Giannina player committed a foolish handball in the penalty area and Odd took the lead from the spot in the 54th minute. Three minutes later, a goal from nowhere brought Odd back into contention, making the score 3-2 on aggregate. After the goals, the Norwegians grew in confidence and pinned PAS Giannina in their own half. The Greeks had a great chance to seal their place in the next round, but Koutris was unable to find the back of the net on a one-on-one opportunity. Odd needed one goal to send the game into extra time and their pressure paid off in the final minute of regulation when Ruud scored Odd’s third goal of the night. The goal tied the score of the first match and the game was surprisingly sent into overtime.
After a “tragic” display in the second half from PAS Giannina, the all-important away goal came in the 8th minute of the extra period with Koutris’ close-ranged shot beating Odd’s goalkeeper. The goal gave PAS the 3-4 lead on aggregate with the home side needing two goals to overcome the deficit. The goal stunned the home team, as they failed to threaten PAS Giannina in overtime, and the Greek club was able to escape from Norway with their first ever qualification in UEFA’s competitions.
In the 3rd qualifying round PAS Giannina will play Dutch side AZ Alkmaar. AZ will be a very tough opponent for PAS with the first match to be held next Thursday in Holland. The return leg will be played in Greece on August 4th.