Leixões SC's UEFA Cup adventure came to an end in Greece as FC PAOK Thessaloniki recorded a convincing 4-1 win in the first-round second leg match, securing a 5-3 aggregate victory in the process.
The Portuguese third division team, who qualified as last season's Taça de Portugal runners-up, were hit by an early blitz by the hosts that saw their 2-1 first-leg lead overturned inside 16 minutes. The Greek side opened the scoring after 14 minutes, as Dimitrios Salpingidis latched on to Yiannakis Okkas’s pass and stroked the ball into the net. The lead was doubled two minutes later as PAOK moved ahead on aggregate, Okkas turning goalscorer to race on to Pantelis Kafes’ through-ball and finish clinically.
Leixões battled gamely to get back into the game but posed little attacking threat. PAOK should have put the result beyond doubt three minutes after half-time, when the otherwise excellent Okkas missed a great chance, but it was 3-0 on the night nine minutes later. Vangelis Koutsopoulos was left unmarked near the penalty spot and he made no mistake with his shot to put PAOK 4-2 ahead on aggregate.
PAOK added to their tally again after 80 minutes with the best goal of the night. Kafes again created the chance for Okkas, and he beat Rui Marcos with an excellent lob. Leixões rallied valiantly and scored a consolation goal through Pedros.
Coaches trade tributes
Leixões coach Carlos Carvalhal acknowledged that his side had lost to the better team. He said: “PAOK played very well and their great players made the difference.” PAOK coach Angelos Anastasiadis said, “We wanted to take revenge after losing the first game. Leixões are a third division team but they are a very disciplined side. They surprised us in the first game and played very well again tonight.”