PAOK scored a spectacular away win over Borussia Dortmund on Thursday, but it has come too late to alter its fate in the Europa League group stage, while Asteras Tripolis bowed out of the competition with a bad loss to Schalke.
A beautiful Robert Mak goal in the first half of the game in Germany gifted PAOK its first and only win the group, with a 1-0 score, that may have not made a difference in the group but may well have been the boost PAOK sought to restart its domestic season after a series of disappointing performances.
Boosted by some 5,000 vocal Greeks at the stands, PAOK braved the Dortmund attacks and was lucky enough to see the Germans struck the woodwork on three occasions. It even braved the injury to its goalkeeper, Panayiotis Glykos, who chose to stay on despite being hardly able to move in the last five minutes of play, with all substitutions already made.
PAOK has finished its group in the third position with seven points from six games, notably unbeaten by the German giants of Dortmund in two games.
Asteras had a poor night at home against Schalke and went down 4-0 to its German visitor, conceding two goals in each half to Franco Di Santo, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (two) and Max Meyer.
Worse, the Peloponnesians also saw two of their most influential players, Dorin Goian and Matias Iglesias, taken off injured.
The result has left Asteras with four points from six games, in third above APOEL Nicosia.
The Europa League draw for the round of 32 to take place on Monday will involve Olympiakos, that was relegated to the second-tier European competition after its loss to Arsenal on Wednesday.