THESSALONIKI – PAOK gave their supporters another wonderful European night away by beating Copenhagen 2-1 at Parken Stadium, a result which means the Two-Headed Eagle edged the Danes in first place in the group and moved closer to qualifying for the round of 16.
The Double Headed Eagle has proven time and time again that this is a team that loves a challenge. Especially when it comes to tough away assignments and European matches. Thursday’s big win inside Parken Stadium now adds to a long list that just keeps growing.
Razvan Lucescu’s PAOK traveled to Denmark with determination and came away with a score of three points which places the Thessaloniki club at the top of the group standings, thus first in the race for this first place and direct qualification for the eighth of the accompanying UEFA Europa Conference League final.
The phase of play which largely decided the outcome of the match was not a goal, but a dismissal. Just nine minutes were on the clock when Mitrita found himself head to head with Grabara, and the Copenhagen goalkeeper tried to stop the Romanian winger’s attempt at goal with his hand outside the penalty area for which he received a direct red card.
Biseswar then came close to giving PAOK the lead immediately after, but Johnsson – the substitute keeper – made a superb save to prevent the Surinname midfielder’s free kick.
The rest of the first half was a one-way street, with PAOK’s dominance paying off twice.
The Two-Headed Eagle took the lead in the 19th minute with a header from Sidcley after an excellent cross from Andrija Zivkovic, while the Serbian then went from creator to executioner to give PAOK the 2-0 advantage. in the 38th minute, taking the ball back to Pass from Biseswar before producing a clinical finish from inside the right side of the penalty area.
In the second half, PAOK gave the hosts space and they chose to attack on the block, but the final ball continued to let them down and good chances were wasted.
During the last 20 minutes of the game, the hosts went out of their way to try and get something out of the game, which made the final stages of the game a bit of a roller coaster. Biel finally got a breakthrough for the home side in the 80th minute, scoring with a powerful shot to reduce the deficit to 2-1, which made the final moments of the game more dramatic.
But in the 84th minute, Alexandros Paschalakis’ class and form were shining brightly. The Greek international goalkeeper brilliantly saved himself from Lerager’s header and kept his team ahead.
PAOK remained focused thereafter, and after the final whistle, the players celebrated a fine victory that propelled the club to the top of the group, one point above Copenhagen, with Slovan Bratislava welcoming Lincoln at 10 p.m. in the other group game of the third day. .
Copenhagen (Jess Thorup): Grabara, Ankersen, Kotsalava, Boylesen, Dicks, Johanneson (74 ′ Laert), Lerager, Boldurson (46 ′ Singh, 84 ′ Hillwood), Bienne, Boving (11 ′ Johnsson), Wind
PAOK (Razvan Lucescu): Paschalakis, Taylor, Mihaj, Michailidis (74 ′ Varela), Sidcley, Schwab (65 ′ El Kaddouri), Esiti, A. Zivkovic, Biseswar (74 ′ Augusto), Mitrita (87 ′ Murg), Swiderski (84 ′ Akpom).