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PAOK press on with Shakhter success

FC Shakhter Karagandy 0-2 PAOK FC
Aldin Džidić's own goal was added to by Stelios Kitsiou as the Greek team confirmed their place in the round of 32 and ended home hopes.

Roger Cañas shows his disappointment as Shakhter taste defeat
Roger Cañas shows his disappointment as Shakhter taste defeat ©Dinara Baikadamova

PAOK FC made sure of their place in the UEFA Europa League round of 32 with victory against FC Shakhter Karagandy, eliminating their opponents from the competition.

PAOK began the day with eight points in Group L, level with AZ Alkmaar and six ahead of their Kazakh hosts and Maccabi Haifa FC. Having created the better chances in the opening 45 minutes, the visitors struck in fortuitous circumstances nine minutes into the second half, Aldin Džidić deflecting in a Lucas cross, before Stelios Kitsiou added a clinching second two minutes into stoppage time.

PAOK might have broken the deadlock as early as the third minute, Yevgeni Tarasov clearing Miroslav Stoch's dangerous low cross and Sotiris Ninis sending in a shot that deflected onto the roof of the net. Shakhter right-back Aleksandar Simčević drew two diving saves from Panagiotis Glykos in the space of five minutes, but in the main it was the Greek outfit who looked more threatening.

Either side of the interval Aleksandr Mokin dived to his left to block Stoch's effort before a Lucas drive whistled over, but the breakthrough was not long delayed. Stoch found Lucas down the left, and his attempted cross hit Džidić and looped over Mokin to nestle in the far corner of the Shakhter net.

The home team sought a response, Roger Cañas and Sergei Khizhnichenko both missing the target from close range, yet it was PAOK who struck again. Substitute Dimitris Salpingidis played a square pass for Kitsiou to rifle high into the net from an angle, Huub Stevens's men confirming their place in the knockout stages with a flourish.