Warda scores as PAOK secure vital away draw in Champions League playoffs
The Greek side have qualified for the playoffs after beating FC Basel and Spartak Moscow in the qualifying rounds and were drawn against Portuguese giants S.L. Benfica.
The first-leg took place at Benfica’s home stadium Estádio da Luz in Lisbon, with both sides aiming to reach the group-stages of the UEFA Champions League.
Pizzi opened the scoring for the home side in the 45th-minute through a penalty, just a few minutes before the half-time whistle.
Amr Warda, who started on the bench, was introduced to the game in the 52nd, replacing Dimitrios Limnios. The Egyptian rewarded his manager, by scoring a crucial away equaliser in the 76th minute.
The Egypt international then picked up a yellow card after a foul on Benfica’s Rafa Silva in the 89th minute.
PAOK were organized defensively in the latter stages of the game, as they stopped Benfica from creating any dangerous chances, and ultimately, the two teams settled for a 1-1 draw.
The return-leg will take place on Wednesday, August 29 at the Toumba Stadium, Thessaloniki, with the Greek side needing at least a 0-0 draw to secure their place in the group-stages.
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