Late Matos leveler rescues point for PAOK

Late Matos leveller rescues point for PAOK


Panionios 2 - 2 PAOK
Spiridonovic 48'
Yesil 86'

Koulouris 41'
Matos 90'+3'

PAOK needed an added time equaliser from Brazilian defender Leo Matos to salvage a point as an absorbing matchday 12 clash against Panionios on Sunday ended in a 2-2 draw.

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Matos struck in the third minute of added time in an exciting encounter in Nea Smyrni, with the lead changing hands three times before the final whistle blew with the scores level.

PAOK’s Greece Under-21 striker Efthimios Koulouris opened the scoring from the penalty spot after 41 minutes, but Srdan Spiridonovic pulled Panionios level three minutes into the second half.

It was Michalis Grigoriou’s team’s turn to take the lead with four minutes left through Samed Yesil, who thought he had given the home side a much-needed home victory until Matos’ late intervention to save the day for PAOK.  

Although the result took PAOK into top spot with 22 points, one point clear of second-placed Atromitos, Razvan Lucescu’s Salonica team could be taken over by Olympiacos, who travel to struggling Kerkyra in Sunday’s late match.

PAOK, who have not won at away game in six attempts this season, looked like they might be about to buck that trend when they were awarded a spot-kick four minutes before half-time when home goalkeeper Matic Kotnik upended Koulouris.

The young striker dusted himself down before slotting home from 12 yards.

Panionios responded quickly to going behind, however, with Spiridonovic beat PAOK keeper Rodrigo Rey with a clinical shot. 

That goal prompted an angry response from PAOK, who proceeded to pepper the home goal with shots but they simply could not find a way past Kotnik. The visitors were then made to pay for their profligacy when Panionios broke on the counter attack and went 2-1 up with Panagiotis Korbos delivering a killer pass for Yesil to slot home.

PAOK’s players looked devastated at that point but they picked themselves up and went on the attack again and were rewarded when Matos rose to head home a late, late goal to level the match.

by Graham Wood
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