PAOK and Atromitos advance in Europa League


Atromitos and PAOK will on Friday afternoon join Panathinaikos in the draw for the Europa League play-offs, as they saw off their third-qualifying-round opponents on Thursday with relative ease.

In a game dominated by a 50-minute stoppage due to a power failure early in the second half, Atromitos beat AIK Solna 1-0 in Athens to advance on a 4-1 aggregate score.

Brazilian star Marcelinho, the hero of the first-leg victory of Atromitos in Sweden with a 3-1 score, capitalized on a defensive error by AIK and after a great solo effort he slid the ball home on the 67th minute for 1-0.

PAOK snatched a 1-1 draw at Spartak Trnava in Slovakia and reached the play-offs courtesy of its 1-0 win at home last week.

The Thessaloniki team missed some good chances to open the score, and the hosts punished the Greeks with a penalty converted on the 35th minute by Erik Sabo.

The Greeks responded in the third minute of the second half as some great footwork and a pinpoint cross by Nikos Korovesis from the left found Dimitris Constantinidis at the edge of the six-yard box and he equalized from close range.

PAOK played the last 24 minutes of the game with 10 men due to a straight red card shown to Yiannis Skondras.