Kiril Despodov made another strong match with the PAOK team, this time in the Greek championship – visiting Ioannina, which ended with a 3:1 success. After this meeting of the 5th round, the “black and white” from Thessaloniki collected 10 points and came out in 2nd place, 3 behind the leaders Olympiakos. Panathinaikos has 9 points from 3 games, but tomorrow they have a tough derby with AEK.
Despodov started for the first time as a starter in the championship, and head coach Razvan Lucescu decided to rest him after the visit of HIK (Helsinki) on Thursday in the Conference League tournament. In the same way, he proceeded with the Serbian star Andrija Zivkovic, who started from the bench, but came in place of Despodov. Lucescu made eight changes to the starting 11, with the Bulgarian winger being one of the three starters from Helsinki.
Two goals for the guests from Thessaloniki were scored by the most promising young Greek talent Yanis Constantelias, who opened in the 4th minute, and then in the 33rd minute made it 2:1. Andrija Zivkovic made the final 1:3 in the 77th minute, while the hosts equalized through Yorgos Palmidis in the 25th, but they had no strength for more.
Despodov again gathered the applause of the visiting fans in the last minutes of the first half. In the 42nd minute, a shot by the Bulgarian national was saved with difficulty by the Israeli goalkeeper of the hosts Boris Klayman. Shortly thereafter, a Kiril Despodov submission was not capitalized on by Tyson. In many of the social networks of PAOK fans, Despodov once again deserved the compliments.
The other Bulgarian participation today was that of Ilian Iliev Jr., who entered as a reserve for Kifisia. The newcomers to the Greek Super League played very well until the home team’s second goal and ended up losing 0-4. Ayoub El Kaabi opened the scoring from the penalty spot in the 21st minute, four after Daniel Podense doubled the lead. After the break, two more goals were scored – Stevan Jovetic scored a second penalty in the 64th minute, and Vicente Iborra completed the final score in added time.
The son of the head coach of Black Sea (Varna) appeared on the field in the 61st minute in place of Mateusz Santos and was placed by coach Yanis Anastasiou on the right of the midfield with three. Kifisia are 11th in the standings with 4 points and for the moment it looks like they will be fighting for survival on their debut in the local elite.
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