Bohemians’ European run ends at the hands of PAOK

Two first half goals were enough to see the Greek side through on aggregate

Bohemians manager Keith Long speaks to Andy Lyons during a water break in their Europa Conference League loss to PAOK. Photo: Aleksandar Djorovic/Inpho

Bohemians manager Keith Long speaks to Andy Lyons during a water break in their Europa Conference League loss to PAOK. Photo: Aleksandar Djorovic/Inpho

 

PAOK 2 Bohemians 0 (PAOK win 3-2 on aggregate)

First-half goals from Stefan Schwab and Diego Biseswar were the difference at the Toumba Stadium in Thessaloniki on Thursday night as Bohemians were sent crashing out of the Europa Conference League at the third qualifying round.

Following their 2-1 opening leg victory in the Aviva Stadium nine days earlier, Bohs found themselves just 90 minutes away from securing a spot in the play-off phase of this inaugural competition. Nélson Oliveira’s final-quarter finish in Dublin offered the Greek side hope coming into this tie, however, and the damage done in the opening period consigned Keith Long’s north Dubliners to an agonising European exit.

Taking the place of former Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund star Shinji Kagawa in the PAOK starting lineup, Biseswar was the creative force behind the game’s opening goal in the fourth-minute.

After Bohs only partially cleared a corner-kick, the Suriname international delivered an enticing ball into the area that was headed home from close-range by midfielder Schwab.

A water break just past the midway point in the first half was welcomed by the visitors, but they suffered another hammer blow when the play resumed. Racing onto a precise through ball by Oliveira, Biseswar comfortably fired beyond the reach of the helpless James Talbot.

The crossbar later came to Bohs’ rescue when Omar El Kaddouri unleashed a thunderous drive in the 34th-minute and the capital outfit were somewhat fortunate to be just two goals adrift at the break.

Nonetheless, Bohs looked sharp in possession at times and had shown in the first leg that they were capable of causing PAOK problems. In fact, Alexandros Paschalakis had to be at his best to turn behind a Liam Burt effort 11 minutes into the second period and Georgie Kelly (who has 16 goals to his name in 2021) also headed past the post on the hour mark.

Still, Razvan Lucescu’s charges were largely in control of the game with Andrija Živkovic and Karol Swiderski both going close to putting the outcome beyond doubt inside the final quarter.

The possibility of extra-time remained with the aggregate deficit kept to a minimum and Keith Ward had a glorious chance to extend the night’s action deep into stoppage time. Unfortunately, he shot across the target with the goal seemingly at his mercy off a Stephen Mallon delivery and this ultimately brought the curtain down on Bohs’ European journey for another season.

PAOK: Paschalakis; Rodrigo (Taylor, 85 mins), Varela, Michailidis, Vieirinha; Kurtic (Esiti, 73 mins), Schwab; A Zivkovic, Biseswar (Murg, 85 mins), El Kaddouri; Oliveira (Swiderski, 73 mins).

Bohemians: Talbot; Lyons (Feely, 85 mins), Cornwall, Finnerty, Breslin; Devoy (Mallon, 85 mins), Buckley; Coote (Ward, 62 mins), Tierney (Levingston, 78 mins), Burt; G Kelly.

Referee: J Weinberger (Austria).

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.