GENT, Belgium – Razvan Lucescu’s PAOK continues to write history. The Double-headed Eagle defeated Gent for a second time, this time in Belgium by a 2-1 scoreline to earn a place in the last eight of the 2021-22 UEFA Europa Conference League.
The squad came to Belgian with high hopes. And although some problems arose along the way, PAOK showed character, a clear mind, faith and passion, and all of that meant that the team found the solutions they needed and PAOK return to Greece triumphant and are already looking to the next challenge.
Gent came into the match in determined mood, pressing PAOK from the kick-off. They tried to make PAOK anxious, but their efforts were in vain. In the first half, the Belgians had the upper hand and tried to take the lead to level up the tie on aggregate, but it was PAOK who took the lead instead.Crespo, following a long phase of play, scored with a powerful shot in the 20th minute to put the visitors ahead.The hosts reacted strongly.
In the 39th minute, they equalized courtesy of a header by Laurent Depoitre, and they also pressed for another goal but PAOK held firm and the teams went into the dressing rooms at half-time at 1-1.Misfortune knocked again at the door of Lucescu’s team, with the Spaniard forced out of the game at half-time due to an injury.The Belgians then came on strong again at the start of the second half, but they failed to find a goal. Lucescu introduced Sidcley and Taylor to freshen up his attacking options, PAOK gradually balanced the game out, and then on 78 minutes came a flash of brilliance from Douglas Augusto.
With a clever combination play, Vieirinha teed up the Brazilian who fired home a great shot to make it 2-1 and win the match for PAOK.That was the hard part done and dusted. PAOK managed to see out the rest of the match perfectly well, and at the final whistle there were jubilant celebrations among the players, aoching staff, and officials.PAOK will lean their quarter-final opponents on Friday (18.03) at 15:00 when the draw will be made.
Gent (Vanhaezebrouck): Roef, Okumu, Ngadeu, Torunarringa, Castro-Montes (86′ Olsen), Kums, Owusu, Samoise (86′ Fortuna), Tissudali (82′ Bezus), Odjidja-Ofoe (82′ Hjulsager), Depoitre.
PAOK (Lucescu): Paschalakis, Lyratzis, Ingason, Crespo (46′ Mihaj), Vieirinha, Tsingaras, Schwab (86′ Mitrita), Murg (70′ Taylor), Biseswar (57′ Sidcley), Akpom (86′ Colak).