PAOK earns precious point at Fiorentina

PAOK kept its hopes for qualification to the last 32 of the Europa League alive by getting a 1-1 draw at Fiorentina on Thursday, while Asteras Tripolis and Panathinaikos suffered home losses to Tottenham and Eindhoven respectively.

The Thessaloniki team earned its fourth point after four games through a great second-half performance that could have even given it victory in Florence.

PAOK weathered the Fiorentina onslaught in the first half thanks to an impressive Panayiotis Glykos, the Greece keeper who maintained the game scoreless by half-time.

In the second half PAOK thought it had scored through Stefanos Athanasiadis, but his goal was flagged as offside. That was an omen of what would follow on the 81st minute, when Athanasiadis fed Maarten Martens in the six-yard box and he opened the score for the Thessaloniki club.

Furious Fiorentina tried to go back on level terms and managed that two minutes from the end through a Manuel Pasqual free-kick that went straight into the Glykos goal.

Tottenham defeated Asteras for the second time in two weeks, this time in Tripoli with a 2-1 score, as the Spurs dominated the first half and scored via Andros Townsend (from the penalty spot) and Harry Kane.

After the interval Asteras improved its game and missed several chances before pulling a goal back with a last-minute spot-kick by Jeronimo Barrales after Federico Fazio got sent off.

Asteras is still in the running for a place in the last 32 of the tournament having four points from as many games.

In a very entertaining game at the Apostolos Nikolaidis Stadium in Athens PSV Eindhoven responded twice to Panathinaikos’s lead to beat the Greek cup winner 3-2 and consign the Greens to an early exit from the competition come next month.

The host led through Abdul Ajagun, but the heroics of Panathinaikos’s English goalkeeper Luke Steele were not enough to cover all of the Greek defense’s errors, so the Dutch equalized through Memphis Depay, before Mladen Petric restored Panathinaikos’s lead for a 2-1 home advantage at half-time.

The Greens’ defense was unable to contain the Dutch in the second half, with Luuk De Jong and Georginio Wijnaldum putting their names on the scoresheet and leaving Panathinaikos with just one point from four games.

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