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PAOK beat Olimpik Donetsk to reach Europa League play-offs

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Photo: PAOK FC

Egypt international Amr Warda was excluded from the squad as PAOK qualified for the Europa League play-off round after a 3-1 aggregate win over Ukrainian side Olimpik Donetsk. 

Amid news about Warda’s imminent move away from PAOK, the Greek side played the second leg of their third round qualifying match against Olimpik Donetsk.

The first leg in Kyiv ended in a 1-1 draw with Stanislav Bilenkyi scoring for Olimpik and Pedro Henrique for PAOK.

PAOK’s Jose Angel Crespo had the first chance at the Toumba Stadium with a header in the fifth minute, but it went wide of the net. A minute later, Diego Biseswar had a shot go over the goal.

In the 24th minute, Robert Mak opened the scoring for the hosts with a powerful shot. Gojko Cimirot then doubled his side’s lead in the second minute of injury time, giving them a 3-1 aggregate advantage.

Nine minutes into the second half, PAOK had a great opportunity to extend their lead, but Biseswar’s shot went slightly high. Throughout the rest of the half, the hosts were forced into defending in their own half.

In the final four minutes of the match, Aleksandar Prijovic had a shot cleared off the line as his side secured their passage to the final phase of Europa League qualifying.

PAOK now await Friday’s draw to learn their play-off round opponents.

In addition to being a football/soccer and basketball enthusiast, I am currently pursuing a combined BS/MD degree at VCU. I also currently work as a Pharmacy Technician in my spare time.

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