On Thursday evening Panathinaikos F.C.‘s European dream was cut short while PAOK F.C. joined Asteras Tripolis F.C. as the second Greek football team that will play in the 2015-2016 UEFA Europa League.
PAOK drew 1-1 with Brondby in Denmark in the second leg of the Europa League final qualifying round. The Greek team’s 5-0 victory in the first leg meant a comfortable 6-1 aggregate from both games.
On the other hand, Panathinaikos failed to advance to the group stages as they drew 2-2 with Gabala on Thursday evening in Athens. Gabala, a team from Azerbaijan, had held Panathinaikos to a 0-0 draw in the first leg in Azebaijan and thus secured its place in the competition thanks to its away goal advantage.
Panathinaikos came twice from behind to earn a draw, with striker Marcus Berg and defender Nano scoring the team’s two equalizers.
Atromitos F.C. was also unable to move beyond the qualifying round after a 3-0 loss to Turkish Fenerbahce in Turkey resulted to a 4-1 goal deficit for the Greek side from both legs.
Some of Panathinaikos F.C. fans took their frustration to the pitch following the final whistle. A handful of fans got on the pitch to confront the team’s players for the result and their performance. Some tension ensued, particularly between fans and Nano as well as with recent addition defender Sergio Sanchez.
Organized fans remained in the stands after the game to discuss with club President Giannis Alafouzos. Panathinaikos player Carlos Zeca also had a discussion with them.
Panathinaikos’ result not only cost them their European football run this season but it also further hampered the team’s standing among European teams. The team dropped another 13 places in the UEFA rankings to claim the 113th spot. In 2003, Panathinaikos held the 19th spot.