PAOK dumped out of Europe by Ostersund
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - PLAYOFFS (LEG 2)
|Ostersund||2 - 0||PAOK|
|Ghoddos 71',77'||(*3 - 3)
PAOK suffered a humiliating exit from Europe on Thursday after the Salonica club lost 2-0 to European debutants Ostersund in the second leg of their Europa League playoff tie in Sweden, exiting the competition on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate scoreline.
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Two goals from Saman Ghoddos in six second-half minutes late on sealed a stunning win for the Swedes, who have won both of their UEFA home games to date, but it is a result which represents one of the poorest European results in PAOK’s history.
PAOK had put themselves firmly in the driving seat in the tie last week after coming from a goal down to defeat their Swedish opponents 3-1 in the first leg at the Toumba.
But Razvan Lucescu’s second match in charge saw his players put in an effort which was well below par, with too many of his team lacking the invention, desire and composure to see the tie through.
Chances were few and far between in a goalless first half at the Jämtkraft Arena, with PAOK seemingly content to play for a scoreless draw.
The home side upped the tempo, however, in the second half, and went ahead in somewhat fortuitous circumstances in the 71st minute when Ghoddos redirected a Curtis Edwards shot past Rodrigo Rey in the PAOK goal.
PAOK were rattled by the setback and they fatally conceded again in the 77th minute with Ghoddos again their tormentor.
The outcome is a crushing blow to the club’s ambitions for the new season and Lucescu will have to regroup his players and hope that he can engineer a genuine SuperLeague title challenge to offset this huge disappointment.