Odense BK are two matches away from reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage for the first time after sealing a 4-3 defeat of Panathinaikos FC with a stunning second-half display in Athens.
In an eventful match, there was little to choose between two sides who were level on aggregate at half-time after Jean-Alain Boumsong had cancelled out Andreas Johansson's 12th-minute opener. But if Toché believed his strike five minutes after the interval had turned the tide in Panathinaikos's favour, goals from Espen Ruud, Bashkim Kadrii and Hans Henrik Andreasen put paid to any such notion. Neither Bernard Mendy's added-time dismissal nor Antonis Petropoulos's even later effort could prevent a memorable OB victory.
Though it was not until the second half that the visitors truly hit their stride, OB began the match confidently and took the lead when Johansson took advantage of an error by Boumsong, who mistakenly headed Chris Sørensen's free-kick towards his own goal. Though Alexandros Tzorvas got his fists to the ball, it only went as far as Johansson, who scored with his right foot.
Panathinaikos reacted well to the setback and pushed forward in numbers, with Sebastian Leto, who forced a fine reaction save out of Stefan Wessels, and Sotiris Ninis, whose corner Boumsong headed in ten minutes before half-time, impressing on the left and right respectively. The hosts restored their lead when Wessels could only clear Leto's centre as far as Toché, who rippled the net with a spectacular long-range volley.
The Greens might have extended their advantage two minutes later when Cleyton provided a perfect pass to Ninis, who hit the post from close range. It would prove a costly miss as, within seven minutes, Henrik Clausen's men were level again, Peter Utaka breaking free down the right before crossing for Ruud. OB now had the advantage of the additional away goal, and that edge was sharpened further with ten minutes left when Andreasen, with a pinpoint pass from the left, picked out Kadrii.
Two minutes from time the match was essentially over as Andreasen unleashed a powerful drive from distance to make it 4-2. There was still time for late drama as substitute Petropoulos stroked in from close range after Mendy had been given his marching orders.
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