First-half goals from Huszti and Stopira secured Vidi 3 Europa League group points in Greece.
Goal: Huszti 13, Stopira 45
PAOK FC: Alexandros — Léo, Fernando, Alin, Omar, Dimitris, Nikos (Diego 66), José, Dimitris (Amr 46), Yevhen (Aleksandar 52), José
Vidi FC: Kovácsik — Stopira, Vinícius, Juhász, Fiola — Hadzic, Pátkai, Nego — Huszti (Kovács 74), Milanov (Nikolov 79) — Scsepovics (Hodzic 65)
25.10.2018. Thessaloniki, Toumba Stadion
Referees: Jevhen Aranovszki, Szerhij Bekker, Oleh Pluzsnyik, Szemen Sloncsak, Mikola Balakin, Anatolij Abdula
The third game of the group stage was played in Thessoloniki on Thursday evening. There were around 22,000 inside the stadium in the second largest city of Greece. Also present were over 100 travelling Vidi supporters who were there to see their team produce a wonderful and perfect tactical performance. Vidi played in their light blue shirts and white shorts against a PAOK side that were in their traditional black and white.
The first chance of the match arrived on 7 minutes when a ball back was allowed to go to the goal line by keeper Kovacsik, who then kicked it clear of Karelis in the final moment.
Then Vidi took an unexpected 12th minute lead: A throw in ended with the ball at the feet of Nego, who then cut the ball back for Huszti to pass the ball into the empty net (0-1).
It was the dream start and it would pave the way for the rest of the game. Huszti sent a ball forward 10 minutes later down the left wing to the unmarked Nego, whose volley did not find the target from 14 meters. Another 10 minutes passed by when Fiola did really well to clear the danger by sliding in on the edge of the box. There was another big chance in front of the opponents goal, but they chose to pass when well placed to shoot on goal. It was the home side that then had a chance following a quick counter attack, but they did not managed to convert the chance. PAOK tried to get back into the game but they could not find a way through the visiting defence.
Kovacsik did really well to deal with a shot at goal as the Vidi keeper put in a confident display.
Then the Greek side fell further behind: a short corner went to Huszti, who curled in a lovely ball for Stopira to rise and head downwards and into the back of the net to silence the home supporters and send the travelling Vidi fans into esctasy (0-2).
It was the team from Székesfehérvár that went in at the break leading 2-0.
The second half started with a chance from 12 meters by El Kaddouri, who aimed for goal from the left wing, but the ball went wide of the post. The display from Marko Nikolic’ side was not only confident but intelligent with it being yet another marvellous team performance, which was confirmed by the battling spirit that so many have come to known. The confidence could be seen in the side with the home team sending on subs to freshen things up. Prijovic and Biseswar came on but they only had slight chances. Valera had a shot on 75 minutes, which was again well saved by Kovacsik. There could have been yet another goal towards the end when Hodzic ran clear of the defence and his one on one effort was saved by the keeper. The four minutes of extra time saw Kovacsik tip a good shot over the bar. The result remained 2-0 as the referee blew for full time. Vidi’s win in Thessoliniki now sees Group L with three sides on three points behind Chelsea on nine. Vidi are in third place on goal difference with big games against PAOK and BATE coming up.
The team picked up a very confident 2-0 win in Greece on Thursday evening against PAOK.
The three points mean that three teams are now level on points in Group L. Marko Nikolic spoke at the post-match press conference about the game.
“I would like to thank the supporters for their backing and the team for their perfect attitude and the way they played. I feel that we played a good game against strong opponents. They are a team that perhaps does not have any players that stand out but they are a team of high standard, even if they had 3-4 players missing. Vidi played a tactically perfect game and we were disciplined and were true fighters. PAOK did not have a 100% chance on our goal during the game. We played in similar games like this over the summer in the four qualification games. Chelsea are the favourites in the group, but the other three sides are all now on three points so anything can happen. We have no time to celebrate as we have a league game on Sunday. We returned back to Budapest at 4am in the morning. With regards to the return game on the 8th November, it will be even harder than it was today. The Greek side know our game and our playing style, so I am fully sure that it will be a totally different game. As to whether this was our best game since I have been at the club, I do not know as I cannot choose due to us having had several good games already. The win over Honved in the title winning game or the wins over Ludogorets and Malmo are up there. We also suffered a tight defeat away at Chelsea. ” – commented Marko Nikolic.
Razvan Lucescu, the PAOK manager said:
“We played very badly and our attitude was full of errors. We did not fully concentrate and perhaps we were too confident. This is completely my responsibility and I should have sent the players out onto the pitch with a different message. With regards to the game, I did not count on all of my players and I chose to rotate things. I cannot put the blame on our central defenders, as sometimes they will make mistakes and in other games they will be perfect. It is no use putting the blame on one or two of the players when the whole team played badly. Vidi have a very well organised defence and we are talking about a good team. We could not recover from going a goal down.” commented Razvan Lucescu, the PAOK manager.