PAOK was held to a goalless draw at home by Russian visitor Krasnodar for the Europa League on Thursday, while Asteras Tripolis surrendered its lead to lose 2-1 at APOEL Nicosia.
PAOK and Krasnodar played out a rather boring match at Toumba, which only livened up after the introduction of Dimitar Berbatov as a second-half substitute for the host.
In the last few minutes of the game the two teams were left with 10 men each within less than one minute due to the second yellow cards shown to Krasnodar’s Artur Jedrzejczyk and then to PAOK’s Jairo.
PAOK has got three draws in as many games and will need to beat Krasnodar in Russia when the two sides meet again in two weeks’ time, to harbor any real hopes of qualifying.
In a game at Nicosia that was stopped for a few minutes in the first half due to floodlight failure, Asteras enjoyed an early lead through Italian defender Braian Lluy on the eighth minute, but as the time went by APOEL raised its game and the Tripoli team withdrew to its half.
It was only a matter of time before the Cypriot champion equalized, but it had to be through a penalty kick by Fernando Cavenaghi just before half-time.
APOEL completed its comeback on the 59th through a Carlao header that gave the Nicosia club all three points.
Asteras is now bottom of its group with one point from three games.