The Bulls Seal a Comeback Win in Their First Game of the UEFA Champions League

UEFA Champions League 2020/21. Play-off round. First leg. FC Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK

FC Krasnodar 2-1 (1-1) PAOK

Goals: Pelkas (Andrija Živković), 32 (0-1), Claesson, penalty kick, 39 (1-1), Cabella (Berg), 70 (2-1).

Missed penalty kick: Pelkas, 7.

FC Krasnodar: Safonov, Ramírez, Sorokin, Kaio, Petrov, Olsson, Vilhena, Cabella (Utkin, 81), Claesson, Wanderson (Suleymanov, 86), Berg.

PAOK FC (Greece): Živko Živković, Michailidis, Varela, Ingason, Crespo, Giannoulis, Schwab, El Kaddouri, Andrija Živković, Pelkas (Biseswar, 79), Tzolis (Świderski, 84).

Yellow cards: Kaio, 6, Claesson, 55, Berg, 88, Olsson, 90+1 – Schwab, 8, Crespo, 76, Ingason, 90+1.

Referees: Turpin, Danos, Haquette (all France).

VAR: Delajod, Pignard (both France).

22 September 2020. Krasnodar. FC Krasnodar Stadium. Clear. 19 degrees. Behind closed doors.

The first leg match of the UEFA Champions League play-off round began in a very stressful way for the Bulls. Early on the 6th minute Turpin the ref ordered a penalty kick against the home team after the ball had hit Kaio’s arm. Fortunately for the black-greens, Matvei Safonov beat Dimitris Pelkas in an intellectual standoff.

FC Krasnodar won the initiative and launched a few spectacular combinations. Petrov was supposed to score an opener after a pass by Olsson, but he missed the target a bit. On another occasion Živković coped with a low driven shot taken by Cabella on the far corner. For that reason the subsequent course of events was even more disappointing for the Krasnodar side. On the 32nd minute a rare counterattack on behalf of PAOK broke through the right flank of the home team’s defense, and that same Dimitris Pelkas met a low cross in the middle of the goal area.

The black-greens scored a quick equalizer though. Rémy Cabella beat a defender inside the penalty area, and the latter kicked his ankle with both legs. Viktor Claesson then made the score equal with a Panenka penalty kick scoring the first FC Krasnodar goal in the 2020/21 UEFA Champions League.

On the 68th minute the visiting White-Blacks barely missed scoring their second goal. The Bulls were saved by Safonov and the goalpost. A few minutes later a delicate pass by Petrov was converted into a flick to Rémy Cabella by Berg, and the black-greens ultimately recordered a comeback win for themselves.

The second leg will be staged in Thessaloniki, Greece on 30 September. The winner of the two-game clash will qualify for the UCL group stage.

FC Krasnodar 2-1 PAOK

78 (8) Attacks (quick attacks) 75 (11)
Total shots 10
Blocked shots 2
Shots on goal 4
Woodwork hits 1
5 Scoring chances 5
61 Won duels 60
56% Ball possession 44%
467 (84%) Completed passes (accuracy) 324 (80%)
Corner kicks 7
Offsides 0