SPORTS

PAOK draws with Panathinaikos to earn Champions League spot

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

PAOK will follow champion Olympiakos to the Champions League qualifiers after drawing 1-1 with Panathinaikos on Tuesday in the last round of games of the Super League play-offs.

The Thessaloniki club topped the mini-league after a nail-biting encounter at Toumba, with PAOK goalkeeper Panayiotis Glykos being the hero for the hosts through his fingertip intervention to a Mladen Petric shot three minutes from time that could have snatched the top spot for the Greens had it gone in.

PAOK led after 17 minutes through a Garry Rodrigues strike but Panathinaikos went back on level terms just nine minutes later via a Robin Lod shot deflected in by Miguel Vitor.

The hosts held on for the draw that kept them on top by one point and will enter the third qualifying round of the Champions League in late July.

In the day’s other match, that had no bearing on the final standings, Panionios defeated AEK 1-0 at home courtesy of a Giorgos Masouras goal on the 41st minute.

PAOK finished on 12 points, Panathinaikos had 11, AEK stayed on nine and Panionios reached up to four points.

Panathinaikos, along with Cup winner AEK, will enter the third qualifying round of the Europe League from July 28 and Panionios will contest the second round of the same competition from July 14.

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