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GreekReporter.comGreeceAsteras Tripolis Triumphs during Bittersweet Week for Greek Soccer in Europe

Asteras Tripolis Triumphs during Bittersweet Week for Greek Soccer in Europe

Asteras Tripolis triumphed over Mainz and qualified for the Europa League Playoffs, while Atromitos of Athens lost at home to Sarajevo and was eliminated. For the 3rd preliminary round of the Champions League, Panathinaikos was unable to get the win against Standard Liege and will continue onto the Europa League Playoffs.
Besides Asteras Tripolis and Panathinaikos, PAOK Thessaloniki will also be part of the group of teams that will compete for a spot in the Europa League group stages. All three of them will find out their opponents in tomorrow’s draw at the UEFA headquarter’s in Nyon, Switzerland.
Asteras Tripolis – Mainz 3-1
Out of all the Greek teams, the least expected to pass onto the next round was Asteras Tripolis. Especially, against a German team who finished 7th in the Bundesliga last year.  However, an amazing performance a week ago in Germany might not have been a reason to celebrate as the final result was a 0-1 loss, but it definitely stimulated Asteras in believing that it had a chance.
The first half ended having Mainz Korean midfielder Ku equalize De Blasis opener of the game, a score that would’ve given the pass to the Germans. The fact that the Tripoli team needed two goals to qualify, didn’t let them down and with MVP Matsa taking over, the Arcadians scored two goals in the last 25 minutes of the game, marking their biggest success in the club’s history.
Atromitos Athens – Sarajevo 1-3
Unlike Asteras, Atromitos didn’t capitalize on their chance of debuting in the Europa League playoff round. Similar to last year when they also lost 3-1 to Dutch club Alkmaar, but in an entirely different manner.
The Athenians spent 120′ minutes resting on the result they gained in the first game in Bosnia and thought that their exceptional defensive skills would help them overcome the challenge. They were wrong. Sarajevo had sent a message in the previous round when they lost at home 0-1 to Norwegian Haugesund but overturned the result with a 1-3 victory away and managed to pull the same trick again after losing 1-2 at home but winning in overtime in Athens 1-3. It was a fair result as in none of the 120′ of the match did Atromitos prove that they were the favorites.
It wasn’t until the 85th minute that Tavlaridis headed the ball in the net that gave the fans a moment to relax by equalizing the first game’s score 2-1. That meant an extra thirty minutes of play time, a period within which Atromitos seemed weary and disoriented and rightfully lost the game after Sarajevo scored a third.
Panathinaikos – Standard de Liege 1-2
A scoreless away draw is the trickiest result of all, and it proved how much it was in Panathinaikos case against Standard de Liege. Even though they were leading the score (1-0) and dominating the game, a slight confusion in their midfield allowed the Belgians to score and snatch away the Greens’ momentum.
As if that wasn’t enough, an exceptional curve from outside the box by Paul Jose M’Poku landed in Stefanos Kotsolis left top corner and secured the Wallonian region club’s progression to the Champions League Playoffs. Panathinaikos gave its everything in the second half but besides a header to the post, it wasn’t able to turn the result around.

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