There were Champions League qualifying matches played on Tuesday night, and two Nigerian stars featured for the Greek side
The duo of Chuba Akpom and Anderson Esiti are just two games away from playing in the Group stage after PAOK Thessaloniki sealed a playoff spot with a win over Benfica.
In what was a single game affair, it was Benfica that dominated possession and created the most opportunities with 16 shots to PAOK’S eight.
However, it was the Greek side that took their chances with the Portuguese side left to rue their wastefulness in front of goal.
After a goalless first half, it was PAOK that drew the first blood with Chuba Akpom playing a major role in it. The former Arsenal star played a one-two with Dimitrios Giannoulis, who then fired home from close range in the 63rd minute.
Akpom was taken off for Karol Swiderski seven minutes later, but his withdrawal did not affect PAOK as they doubled their lead in the 75th minute courtesy of a Zivkovic wonder strike. Benfica halved the deficit in added time through Rafael Silva, but by then the damage had already been done.
Meanwhile, Akpom’s Nigerian teammate, Anderson Esiti was a late substitute in the clash, coming on for Christos Tzolis in the 80th minute.
PAOK’s reward is now a two-legged tie against Russia’s Krasnodar with the winner of that clash progressing to the group stages.