PAOK FC 6-1 FC Dinamo Minsk
Captain Stefanos Athanasiadis hit an 18-minute hat-trick early on to shape the Greek outfit's comprehensive defeat of their debutant visitors.
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• PAOK blow visitors away with four goals in first 28 minutes
• Captain Stefanos Athanasiadis scores 18-minute treble
• Nemanja Nikolić scores at both ends for newcomers Dinamo
• Slobodan Simović dismissed for visitors after two yellow cards
• Next games: Guingamp v PAOK, Dinamo v Fiorentina (2 October)
Captain Stefanos Athanasiadis hit an 18-minute hat-trick to shape PAOK FC's comprehensive 6-1 defeat of debutants FC Dinamo Minsk in UEFA Europa League Group K.
The experienced Greek side, hunting their fourth successive group stage progression in this competition, went for the jugular from the outset and their first corner provided the breakthrough. Dinamo's Nemanja Nikolić was the unfortunate man at the near post whose headed clearance flew into the top corner of his own goal on three minutes.
Eight minutes later, Athanasiadis had his first and again Dinamo were architects of their own downfall. The quick-thinking forward pounced on a heavy touch by defender Sergei Karpovich, whisking the ball away and prodding it high beyond the goalkeeper.
After doubling his tally with a fine back-post header, the story was then much the same for Athanasiadis' 28th-minute hat-trick goal – goalkeeper Aleksandr Gutor spilled an innocuous low cross at the feet of the grateful 25-year-old.
Dinamo's despair deepened after the restart. Five minutes after joining the action, Dimitris Papadopoulos made it five for PAOK, crashing a simple pull-back in off the bar at the back post.
Slobodan Simović then saw red for his second booking, salting a raw wound, but before Fanis Tzandaris could tuck in PAOK's sixth, Nikolić enjoyed a moment of personal redemption, racing past Panagiotis Glykos and finishing from a tricky angle.