PAOK and Olympiakos Volou off to Europa League

PAOK and Olympiakos Volou sealed their passage to the playoffs of the Europa League with easy 3-0 home wins on Thursday evening. The Thessaloniki side saw off Valerenga with a 5-0 aggregate score after an imposing performance in front of 25,000 fans at Toumba.

Adelino Vieirinha opened the score for PAOK one minute from half time with a delightful left kick that beat the Valerenga keeper from just outside the six-yard box.  Stefanos Athanasiadis made it 2-0 four minutes into the second half after a Giorgos Fotakis through ball that split the Norwegian defence. Fotakis then turned from provider to scorer at the 58th for 3-0 making the most of a ball spilled by keeper Lars Hirschfeld after an Athanasiadis shot.

Facing Luxembourg’s Differdange, Olympiakos Volou had once again Juan Martin to thank for opening the score in a European match, as he headed the ball in at the 30th minute for 1-0. This was Martin’s third goal in Olympiakos Volou’s debut campaign in Europe. Hungarian defender Zoltan Szelesi made the most of a counter attack by Mario Breska and sent the ball in at the 57th minute for 2-0.

Another Breska effort eight minutes from time found Ilias Solakis who sealed the Volos side’s qualification with his goal for a 6-0 aggregate score. The draw for the playoffs of the Europa League will take place on Friday in Switzerland, involving four Greek sides: PAOK, Olympiakos Volou, AEK and Panathinaikos. However, if Olympiakos Volou lose their appeal against their relegation for match-fixing, they will also be eliminated from the Europa League.

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