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AZ pip PAOK to top spot in Group L

PAOK FC 2-2 AZ Alkmaar
Stelios Pozoglou struck a 94th-minute equaliser for PAOK, but AZ finished top of Group L above the hosts thanks to their superior head-to-head record.

Thomas Lam attempts to escape from the PAOK defence
Thomas Lam attempts to escape from the PAOK defence ©AFP/Getty Images

Stelios Pozoglou headed a 94th-minute equaliser to snatch a 2-2 draw for PAOK FC, but AZ Alkmaar finished top of Group L thanks to their superior head-to-head record.

Both sides knew they were advancing before kick-off and it was Dick Advocaat's visitors who went ahead through Thomas Lam's opener, before a Lucas penalty swiftly squared things up. Donny Gorter converted from the spot himself as the Dutch side continued striving to top the section, and although Pozoglou intervened at the end, the 2-2 scoreline meant AZ finished with a better record in their two meetings with the hosts.

A quiet opening saw little in the way of goalmouth action and the first moment of quality came on 31 minutes as Lam received the ball with his back to goal before turning sharply and rifling a low shot in off the far post from a tight angle on the right. The lead lasted just six minutes, however, as Stelios Kitsiou darted into the visiting area only to be brought down by Fernando Lewis; Lucas calmly did the rest.

With the 1-1 scoreline, PAOK were now top of the group on goals scored, the two teams having recorded that same result in the Netherlands on matchday two. AZ thus pushed forward after the restart, and home keeper Panagiotis Glykos made an outstanding reaction save to keep out Steven Berghuis's driven effort from inside the area.

Glykos also stopped a swerving shot from Johann Gudmundsson, yet the pressure paid off in the 71st minute as Gudmundsson's cross from the left struck Costin Lazăr on the arm, allowing Gorter to send Glykos the wrong way from the resulting penalty. The game looked up for PAOK as the match drifted into added time, but with just seconds remaining Lucas curled a cross into the box which Pozoglou flicked inside the post – it was not enough to deny AZ first place, however.

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