PAOK Dump Benfica Out of Champions League Qualifying



PAOK eliminated Benfica to reach the Champions League playoffs with a 2-1 triumph in Thessaloniki on Tuesday.

Benfica missed a string of chances against PAOK in a one-sided first half as they enjoyed 72% of possession.

They were punished after the break as Dimitrios Giannoulis poked in the opener from close range in the 63rd minute after a one-two with Chuba Akpom and substitute Zivkovic made it 2-0 in the 75th with a sweet shot inside the near post.

Rafa Silva pulled one back with a stoppage time header but it came too late to avoid the defeat.

The Thessaloniki club is now one step away from making it to the Champions League group stage for the first time in its history. The final hurdle will be Krasnodar, in home-and-away games this time.