Xanthi suffered a 1-0 home loss to Linfield of Northern Ireland on Thursday in the first leg of the second qualifying round of the Europa League, despite outplaying its visitor for most of the game at Pigadia.
In the new season’s first competitive game involving a Greek team, Xanthi showed its quality but could not translate it into goals against a semi-professional side that had a dogged defense on the night.
Unaffected by the warm weather in Greece, Linfield capitalized on a major error by the Xanthi defense on the 25th minute to score through Aaron Burns.
Xanthi hit the woodwork twice in the game as luck was not on its side on the night.
The second leg is in a week’s time in Belfast and Xanthi coach Nikos Karageorgiou said his team remains the favorite as it can win the away game.
This was the seventh game in Xanthi’s history in European competitions without a victory
Stealing the show at Pigadia were the 150 traveling fans from Belfast.