PAOK eliminated Benfica and Uruguayan debutant Darwin Núñez on Tuesday from the race to reach the group stage of the Champions League (2-1), in which both Dynamo Kiev and Ghent remain, already in the last round after beating AZ Alkmaar (2-0) and Rapid Vienna (2-1), respectively.
In the three matches this Tuesday, all corresponding to the ‘Route of the League’ and the third previous tie, there was a factor coinciding with a single match: the victory went to the three local teams. Only Real Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Manchester City, Juventus, Paris Saint Germain and Atlético de Madrid had been in all editions of the Champions League since 2013-14, in addition to Benfica, who could not repeat it this Tuesday.
At the Tumba de Salónica stadium, the goals of Giannoulis, in the 63rd minute, and Zivkovic, in the 75th minute, made the difference in favor of the Greek team and frustrated the first great commitment of Jorge Jesus’ return to the Lisbon club. Darwin Núñez made his debut, who entered the pitch in the 65th minute instead of Pedrinho. Rafa Silva’s final 2-1 came at the last minute.
PAOK will rival Krasnodar in the next round for a place in the group stage of the top European competition; Benfica goes to the Europa League. Meanwhile, in Kiev, Dynamo had not thrown once against AZ Alkmaar when a loss of the ball from their rival opened an unexpected and productive path towards the opposing goal: Gerson Rodrigues from Luxembourg scored the 1-0.
Already in the final stage, Shaparenko sentenced the pass to the last round, in which he will face Ghent, who beat Rapid Vienna on Tuesday. The Belgian team won 2-1. Niklas Dorsch, in the first half, and Roman Yaremchuk, in the second from a penalty, scored the local goals. Demir, already in 93, scored the visitor.