Todays match comes from the Karaiskaki stadium where we play PAOK in the 6th round of the cup. We play a two legged round this time and so a good result here will allow us to go to Toumba with an advantage. For this match, we see Nikopolidis back in goals for the first time in a couple of months.
The game starts off, although the game is delayed for a minute or so to clear the flares from the field. When the game does start we start off with the attacking play and seem to do well in this, getting close to scoring in the 5th minute. The game is then stopped again for a couple of minutes when Torosidis takes a knock in our own box. When the game is restarted again, we move the ball forward but as yet, we cannot get any opportunities on their goal. We have had a couple of corners in this opening fifteen minutes but nothing of any note.
After the opening 15 minutes of the game, we haven't settled as yet and we haven't stamped our authority on this game as yet. We have another stoppage after the whinging PAOK staff moan at the referee. PAOK have their first chance on goal in the 25th minute with a corner which threatened to go into the net, Nikopolidis having to save the ball from going into the net from the corner shot. The referee then decides to stop play for another time and we have another delay to the game.
We come close to scoring again in the 31st minute from a free kick which was subsequently shot against the post by Modesto and then cleared. Apart from this though, we are having some trouble in getting the ball forward and through to our attackers. PAOK are doing a job in closing down our midfielders and they are unfortunately intercepting a lot of our balls and then counter attacking. We do get another chance from a free kick knocked into the box, but Chalkias manages to get to the ball and claim it first.
We do however get the lead in the first of three minutes of extra time, a free kick was conceded to the extreme left hand side of the field. Ibagaza crossed the ball into the far end of the box where Modesto was waiting and smacked it into the goal with a cracking header to gain the lead. The game then breaks after 3 minutes of extra time given for the multiple stops the referee has subjected us to.
PAOK have the first chance of the second half with a free kick on goal which has to be turned behind for a corner. In reply, we do more attacking play but similar to the first half, we have trouble in threading the ball through the midfield. PAOK do have two more corners and a free kick early on in the half before we manage to clear the ball from our area. We then manage to grab a couple of corners of our own causing PAOK some serious trouble in their defence. Mirallas has a superb opportunity to get a second goal but his crack at the net was saved by Chalkias.
We seem to be firmly in control of the game now, PAOK are surrendering control of the possession and we are taking advantage and getting forward whenever possible. We make our first substitution in the 63rd minute with Jose Holebas replacing Albert Riera. We still have some trouble in breaking through their defence from open play but we are running riot in set-plays. Pantelic has an effort on goal knocked against the crossbar and we go close to getting the second goal again. We are doing the majority of our attacks through the wings and to help freshen up the tempo, we replace Dennis Rommedahl with Giannis Fetfatzidis in the 72nd minute. We have another attempt on goal through a Torosidis header but his attempt is found off target and harmlessly passes the goalmouth.
The game is now in the final 15 minutes of the match and we continue with the attacking play although PAOK have now also decided to come out of their shell for the last quarter hour of normal time. We have more chances on their goal but then we have as goal by Vierinha which screws up our chances in the tie. The goal was an over-the-top pass sent across past Avraam Papadopoulos who seemed unable to recover and effectively defend the pass. The goal was completely against the run of play but leaves us with a real problem now. We make our third and final chance with Raul Bravo being replaced with Jaouod Zairi.
We still manage to miss more chances with Torosidis missing an open goal and hitting the post from half a metre out. What's more annoying is that Zairi hit the post first when making the initial shot. This is the fourth time we've hit the posts or crossbar today. The game finishes after 3 minutes of extra time and we've really missed out on a chance to gain an advantage today.Olympiakos 1-1 PAOK45' Modesto83' VierinhaOlympiakos
: Nikopolidis, Torosidis, A.Papadopoulos, Mellberg, Bravo (83' Zairi)
, Rommedahl (72' Fetfatzidis)
, Ibagaza, Modesto, Riera (63' Holebas)
, Mirallas, Pantelic.
PAOK : Chalkias, Contreras, Cirillo, Linen (82' Koytsianikoulis)
, Snauczner, Tsoukalas, Garcia, Fotakis, Ivic (75' Muslimovic)
, Vieirinha, Salpingidis (86 ' Balafas)
Referee : Tritsonis (Athens), Tryfonas (Corfu), Tsiniaris (Athens)
Yellow cards: 52' Torosidis - 31' Fotakis, 45' Chalkias, 73' Contreras, 75' Vieirinha