A Win in Thessaloniki Brought the Bulls to the UCL Group Stage

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

PAOK 1-2 (0-0) FC Krasnodar

Goals: Michailidis, 73, own goal (0-1), El Kaddouri (Schwab), 77 (1-1), Cabella, 77 (1-2). 

PAOK FC (Greece): Živko Živković, Crespo (Wagué, 59), Varela (Świderski, 76), Ingason, Giannoulis, Michailidis, Pelkas (c) (Čolak, 59), El Kaddouri, Schwab, Tzolis, Andrija Živković.

FC Krasnodar: Safonov, Petrov, Kaio, Martynovich (c), Ramírez, Gazinsky (Kambolov, 83), Utkin (Smolnikov, 58), Vilhena, Claesson, Cabella (Suleymanov, 85), Berg.

Yellow cards: Ingason, 24, Pelkas, 37, El Kaddouri, 90+1 – Vilhena, 33, Kaio, 35.

Referees:  Orsato, Giallatini, Preti (all Italy).

VAR:  Guida, Meli (both Italy).

30 September 2020. Thessaloniki. Toumba Stadium. Clear. 18 degrees. Behind closed doors.

In the second leg a 1-0 win would suffice for the Greek team, and the numbers on the scoreboard during the interval signaled them the possibility the game just might end with the named score. The first half ended in a total shutout, even though a few scoring chances actually took place next to Matvei Safonov’s domain.

The turn of the tide occurred in the middle of the second half when freshly-fielded Igor Smolnikov considerably enhanced performance of the Bulls. He was exactly the man who supported the attack on the left in the penalty area on the 73rd minute as he met a penetrating pass by Cabella and then centered the ball again. His low cross was interrupted by Giannis Michailidis who involuntarily chipped the ball into the own goal.

PAOK scored a super quick equalizer. Schwab served the ball from a free kick on the 77th minute and Omar El Kaddouri won the serve at the 6-yard line hammering the pigskin inside the net with a header. And yet, the home team did not get to celebrate long. In the very next attack Tonny Vilhena fired a shot from outside the area and hit the left goalpost. Rémy Cabella won the rebound a few meters away from the goal-line and merely tapped the ball into the undefended goal. 2-1 for FC Krasnodar as a result!

Having won both legs of a tie with PAOK FC the Bulls made it through to the UEFA Champions league group stage on their second attempt. They also did it in their 500th anniversary official game.

FC Krasnodar will get to know their opponents in the UCL group stage on 1 October.

PAOK 1-2 FC Krasnodar

105 (16) Attacks (quick attacks) 84 (14)
16 Total shots 10
Blocked shots 0
Shots on goal 5
Woodwork hits 1
5 Scoring chances 5
87 Won duels 98
53% Ball possession 47%
423 (80%) Completed passes (accuracy) 346 (78%)
10 Corner kicks 3
Offsides 3
12 Fouls 12