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PAOK Draws With Panathinaikos at Playoffs for Shot at Champions League

park 2The nail gripping game between PAOK and Panathinaikos to win the Greek League playoffs and earn a slot for next season’s Champions League concluded with a draw 1-1 on Tuesday.
As energetic spectators watched, PAOK scored in the 17th minute when Gary Rodriguez fired the first goal of the game.
Following at the 26th minute, Panathinaikos midfielder Robin Lod scored.
In order to win the playoff competition, PAOK only needed a draw, however, they continued to stay on the offensive. The fans at Toumba stadium were silenced in the 86th minute as Mladen Petric’s attempt to score was undermined by a spectacular save from PAOK goalkeeper Panagiotis Glykos.
Vladan Ivic took over as coach of PAOK in March. “We knew it would be a difficult game. We wanted a win and so did they…But our players really gave it everything they had and we made it through. It’s been a difficult year for us, so this is a great moment,” Ivic said.
Panathinaikos coach Andrea Stramaccioni was disappointed at his club’s playoff performance. “It was a season that was not good,” he said. “It will teach us to learn from our mistakes.”
The six-game playoffs resulted in a title win by Olympiakos and PAOK which will both enter the Champions League along with Greek Cup winners AEK Athens in the Europa League third qualifying round from July 28.
Panionios finished the games at the bottom of the playoff table and will enter the Europa League second qualifying round from July 14.
With the tables complete for both the Champions League and Europa League, attention turns to the UEFA, that has yet to decide if they will grant licenses to the newly joined teams from Kosovo.

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