PAOK Wave Goodbye to Europe

-- PAOK Wave Goodbye to Europe --


Schalke 1 - 1 PAOK
Schopf 23' (4 - 1)
Nastasic (og) 25'

PAOK exited the Europa League at the Round of 32 stage on Wednesday after a creditable 1-1 draw at Schalke in their second leg encounter completed a 4-1 aggregate defeat to the Germans, who ease into the last 16.

Vladan Ivic’s team, who gave themselves a mountainous task at the Arena AufSchalke in Gelsenkirchen after being comprehensively beaten 0-3 in last week’s first leg at the Toumba, fell behind to Alessandro Schöpf’s strike from Choupo-Moting’s assist after 23 minutes.

PAOK responded immediately, however, and were level within two minutes when Matija Nastasić could only divert the ball past his own goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann under pressure from PAOK forward Efthymis Koulouris.

There were no further goals on the night despite both teams having their moments, but despite the result of the tie the buoyant travelling PAOK support will have taken heart from a much improved performance.  

In fact, PAOK may have been able to set up a nervous finish for the hosts had Pedro Henrique and Yevhen Shakhov done better when presented with decent chances in the 69th and 76th minutes, but on both occasions the visitors were missing a cutting edge.

Schalke are now unbeaten in eight against Greek sides and will go into the draw for the Round of 16 on Friday, while PAOK will turn their attention to domestic matters and aim to finish in second spot behind runaway leaders Olympiakos.


by: Graham Wood

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