Greek league champions AEK Athens managed to clinch a 1-1 draw in Scotland against Celtic, while PAOK beat Spartak Moscow 3-2 in Thessaloniki, in the Champions League group stage qualifiers on Wednesday.
Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor drove in the opening goal in the 17th minute, but two minutes before the break, Victor Klonaridis fired in a breakaway equalizer, managing what coach Marinos Ouzounidis wanted: an away goal.
The Glasgow team dominated possession in the second half trying for a winning goal, but AEK was well organized in defense. Next Tuesday in Greece, AEK seems to have the upper hand in the return game in order to reach the play-offs against either Malmo of Sweden or MOL Vidi of Hungary.
In Thessaloniki PAOK won out over Spartak Moscow in front of a sold-out crowd. Even though they had bad start at Toumba Stadium, they turned the match around by the end of the first half.
Spartak Moscow’s Ivelin Popov scored first in the seventh minute and Quincy Promes followed with a second goal for the visitors in the 17th minute.
However, the Greek team had a spectacular as striker Aleksandar Prijovic scored in the 29th minute after a penalty and Dimitris Limnios equalized in the 37th minute.
PAOK’s victory was sealed in the 44th minute by Dimitris Pelkas, who was in great form throughout.
If PAOK advance after the second leg, they will play against the winner of the Benfica (Portugal) – Fenerbahce (Turkey) match.
Before the game PAOK fans had hung a banner saying “Macedonia is one and only and it’s here” in protest at the Greek government agreement to accept ‘North Macedonia’ as the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.