A great result for PAOK
Schalke 04 was the favorite tonight but it takes a lot of effort to turn theory to action. The Germans were in control (ball possesion 64%-36%), they had more attempts (14-8) but the numbers do not always depict the truth. I do not know how many of you watched the match or any highlights from it but what I saw for 93 minutes was the stressful players of the home team reaching the area of PAOK unable to execute what they had in mind.
Their goal at 32′ with Farfán seemed to be enough for coach Keller who sat and watched Mr. Stevens making two substitutions at 62′ which had an immediate effect on PAOK’s performance. Eleven minutes later (73′) Stoch punished the coach of the home team for not paying attention with a wonderful shot from wide range (you need to watch it). I believe this was the minute where the match ended.
The players of Schalke 04 added pressure for the winning goal but they were so stressed, they practically killed most of their efforts with a poor last pass or shot. The fans were upset with the team’s performance making their players more nervous therefore less dangerous. Things could be different for Schalke if Jacobo had not made the save of the match at 80′ but it would be unfair for PAOK to go down like this. After all this was the ONLY REAL chance by the Germans since the equalizer.
The two clubs will meet again for the re-match at Toumba, which I remind you is behind closed doors because PAOK is still banned in home matches. PAOK is still alive and they will have one more shot for entering the Champions League Groups. Everything is possible but they would have a lot more chances if they had their warm crowd on their side. An this is something the fanatic supporters need to consider for the future. The players need them and the foolish actions of some individuals have weakend the team in the most important match of their history. And it is not possible to know for sure if there will be a next time…