SPORTS

PAOK marches past Basel with a 3-0 win on the road

GEORGE GEORGAKOPOULOS

TAGS: Soccer

PAOK produced an emphatic 3-0 victory at Basel on Wednesday to march on in the Champions league qualifiers. The Greek Cup winners advanced on a 5-1 aggregate score to the third qualifying round of the competition, where they will face Spartak Moscow.

The Greeks were the better team throughout the match at the St Jacob’s Park, and were particularly effective in attack making the most of the few chances the fell to them.

In front of some 2,500 of its fans, PAOK shook off the injury to its captain, Adelino Vieirinha in the warm-up, as his replacement, Yevhen Khacheridi made up for the absence of the influential Portuguese player.

It only took seven minutes for the team of coach Razvan Lucescu to open the score: Dimitris Pelkas took a corner kick from the right, found Fernando Varela just outside the six-yard box, and he beat the stunned Basel defense with ease for 1-0.

Aleksandar Prijovic scored PAOK’s second goal on the seventh minute of the second half as he capitalized on a long ball by PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis to chip the ball delightfully over Basel goalie Jonas Omlin.

Then on the hour mark Omar El Kaddouri added PAOK’s third with a shot from a distance that beat Omlin again to complete the routing of the Swiss club.

If PAOK goes past Spartak in the third qualifying round it faces another home-and-away round in the tourhament's play-offs before it makes the group stage of the Champions League for the first time in its history.

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