PAOK snatched a goalless draw at Udinese on Thursday to increase its chances of qualifying to the last 16 of the Europa League.
The Thessaloniki club has therefore stretched its impressive unbeaten record in Europe to 12 games in as many months, but will need victory at Toumba a week later in order to advance in the competition.
The Italians were completely dominant in this first leg of the tie for the round of 32 at Friuli, but were unable to beat PAOK keeper Dario Kresic. They even hit the goal frame after just five minutes in what was the hosts’ best spell in the game.
As the game went on PAOK’s confidence grew but the Greeks did not threaten the Italian goal in any more than just a couple of occasions.
PAOK coach Laszlo Boloni admitted after the match that his team played cleverly but not well, adding that he was happy with the draw.
“We were not technically good but we were tactically good,” the Romanian manager stated.
PAOK was well-supported by up to 5,000 fans who easily outshouted the home support. “It was like playing at Toumba,” Kresic said afterwards.