Arnold Bruggink struck the last of a five-goal spree in the Toumba stadium to improve PSV Eindhoven’s chances of emerging from their clash with FC PAOK Thessalonika with a place in the UEFA Cup fourth round. His close-range header with nine minutes remaining made the score 3-2 to the Greek side and left the tie delicately poised.
A different story this time
PAOK knew all about Bruggink because at this same stage a year ago he was on the scoresheet in both the home and away games as the Dutch champions romped to a 4-0 aggregate victory. This was a far different story – even though PSV had their noses in front early on.
A stunner for the Greeks
When John de Jong glanced a 20th-minute header beyond Kiriakos-Nektarios Tohouroglou after Jan Heintze had got away down the left to deliver a perfect cross, the home side were stunned. Not only had the goal arrived against the run of play but it appeared to suggest that their hopes of gaining revenge for last season’s defeat was to end in disappointment.
The Greek side stuck to their game, encouraged by the hold that the skilful Ioannis Okkas seemed to have over his defenders. He nearly worked an early shooting chance but at the last gasp found a defender in the way to effect a crucial block.
Yasemakis grabs his first
Gradually PAOK got themselves back in the game, grabbing an equaliser through Yiasoumis Yasemakis with his first of the night following good work by Pantelis Konstantinidis. Incredibly, PAOK then gave themselves a half-time lead following a 25-metre shot by Ifeanyi Udeze.
Waterreus stretches to save
The home team remained on top in the second half and continued to make it an uncomfortable night for PSV who had been hopeful of a place in the second group stage of the UEFA Champions League before they met defeat on Matchday Six. PSV enjoyed a number of escapes – particularly in the 57th minute when Ronald Waterreus was forced to stretch to beat out Luciano de Souza's header. The ball dropped to Georgios Georgiadis but his attempt was wayward. Just before that a good sight of goal for De Souza ended with a header straight at the goalkeeper.
Yasemakis scores again
A 3-1 margin would have left PAOK confident of reaching the fourth round. They got it in the 69th minute when PSV forgot how to mark as Vasileios Borbokis sent over a corner. Okkas was left all alone but unaccountably missed his header, a team-mate lunged in and also failed to make contact, and it was left to Yasemakis to drive the ball over the line at the far post.
With that PSV coach Eric Gerets sent on Mateja Kezman to link up with Bruggink who had earlier emerged from the bench. PAOK were now doubly fearful because Kezman had also scored twice in last year’s confrontation and it was no surprise when Bruggink was on hand to put away a simple header at the far post after André Ooijer had nudged the ball across.
Frousos fails at the death
Even then there was a wonderful chance for PAOK substitute Nikolaos Frousos to restore the two-goal advantage. But having taken the ball down superbly on his chest and with only Waterreus to beat he steered his shot just wide of the goal.
“We played very well, but we had the opportunities to score more goals,” said Dusan Bajevic, the PAOK coach. “We missed the opportunity to score many goals against a strong European team, like PSV. Specially in the second half we missed a lot of chances,” he added.