PAOK move joint-top with AEK after win over Atromitos

PAOK move joint-top with AEK after win over Atromitos


PAOK 2 - 1 Atromitos
Vieirinha (P) 22'
Campos 71'

Stroungis 22'

PAOK fought back from a goal behind to claim a vital 2-1 win over title rivals Atromitos at the Toumba on Monday and join AEK at the top of the SuperLeague table with 21 points from 11 matches.

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Angola forward Djalma Campos struck a deflected winning goal 19 minutes from time after PAOK’s Portuguese midfielder Vierinha had earlier scored with a controversial penalty to level Stefanos Strouggis’ opening goal for Damir Camadi’s visitors 

Young Greek defender Strouggis, who only signed professional terms with the club three days ago, enjoyed an impressive debut by scoring with a powerful header in the 22nd minute as the in-form Peristeri club threatened to claim another important win.

But Vieirinha slotted home from 12 yards a minute before half-time from the penalty spot after Robert Mak fell under the challenge of 20-year-old Strouggis.

Replays showed that the penalty award was a harsh one on Strouggis, who actually won the ball cleanly before Mak fell over his leg.

That goal ended Atromitos goalkeeper Andreas Gianniotis’ remarkable run of 765 minutes (8.5 matches) without conceding a goal, a landmark which left him in sixth place in the all-time list.

The half-time interval did nothing to take the sting out of what was a lively affair in the opening 45 minutes, with PAOK growing in confidence and almost moving 2-1 ahead a minute before the hour mark.

Morocco international Omar El Kaddouri found time and space in the Atromitos penalty area to aim a shot on goal, but Gianniotis, as he has done so many times so far this this, made a superb save as the ball flew through a flurry of bodies.

The home side continued to press forward and they were denied again in the 69th minute when Atromitos defender Spyros Risvanis cleared PAOK defender Leo Matos’s header off the line with Gianniotis beaten.

A breakthrough finally came for PAOK two minutes later and it was Angola forward Campos who found the net with a deflected effort which left Gianniotis helpless to react after some pinball in the Atromitos box.

Atromitos pressed late on but could not find an equaliser as PAOK claimed what was in the end a deserved win for Razvan Lucescu’s men, who bossed the second half overall.

by Graham Wood
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