- Proud PAS Giannina -
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 3RD QUALIFYING ROUND, LEG 2
|PAS Giannina||1 - 2||AZ Alkmaar|
||(1 - 3)
|Dos Santos 29'
PAS Giannina fell 1-2 in Greece for the 2nd leg of the UEFA Europa League 3rd Qualifying round and bowed out of this year's competitions. Despite the loss, PAS Giannina proved to be a worthy opponent over the two legs against one of Holland's best teams. The Epirotes will exit with their heads held high in their first "European" season.
AZ Alkmaar were the clear favorites to advance after defeating PAS Giannina 1-0 in Holland for the first leg with the Epirotes looking for the surprising upset in today's match. PAS Giannina got off to a tremendous start by taking lead in the 9th minute. Conde's header leveled the score on aggregate (1-1) and shocked the visitors. Unfortunately at the half hour mark, AZ Alkmaar equalized from a counter attack and re-took the lead on aggregate (1-2). The away goal was a dagger for PAS Giannina who now needed to win by a minimum of two goals. The Dutch club struck again before the halftime whistle with Luckarsson securing their place in the next round.
PAS Giannina came out on the attack in the second half, creating chances in AZ Alkmaar's penalty area but failed to find their second goal of the night. AZ's best chance of the half was denied by a fantastic save from Paschalakis in the 69th minute. With AZ Alkmaar content with the score the final 20 minutes where played out with minimal chances for either team. The final whistle came and the fans that traveled to Athens gave a standing ovation to PAS Giannina for their run in this year's Europa League.
PAS Giannina will see their first ever run in a European Competition as a success. Th Epirotes knocked out Odd BK in the 2nd Qualifying Round and proved worthy opponents to Dutch giants AZ Alkmaar. PAS Giannina will now focus on preparing for the upcoming Greek SuperLeague season which begins August 20th.