The job was… finished in Denmark, where Panathinaikos got a 1-1 draw against Brondby, in the second leg for the play-offs of Europa League. This score, though, “sealed” its qualification to the group stage of the second most important European football competition!

Maybe the “Shamrock”… had blown the whole first half, nevertheless in the second one Andrea Stramaccioni’s actions helped to “reverse” the match, by scoring also a very desired goal away, which added to the score of Leoforos (3-0), made things simple…

This way Panathinaikos, enters again into the group stage of the European competitions, after a two year absence, remaining unbeaten in all matches. It is important to mention that Ivanov’s goal by head, which determined the final score, was the first one for the Bulgarian defendant, wearing the jersey of our team.

Inferior but also… unlucky

In the first half Brondby entered the match aggressively by an active ball possession, pressing hardly, almost “suffocating” in the middle and looking forward to score quickly its first goal.

They lost their first important chance in the 16th minute, when Pukki passed Steele, who went towards him rather late. Brondby’s sticker, shot from the side but the ball was kicked out by Moledo, before the line. In the 35th minute, though, the hosting team scored when Holst crossed from the right side, Wilczek passed the ball to Mukhtar who scored by shooting from the box area…

At the same time the “Greens” maintained a great distance from the midfield to the attack, though they tried to score twice. Both times by Ibarbo; initially in the 38th minute, when Wakaso snared the ball giving the opportunity to his Colombian teammate to come in front of Toppel but his shoot bounced off Brondby’s left post. In the 45th minute, a shoot which came after a set piece “combination” by Koutroumbis finished in a … high flown out.

Able to win away!

In the second half Panathinaikos was the team which started the match better and passing the time was becoming the ruler of the game. The entrance of Leto and Lod, a bit later, where the reasons for the “transformation” of the guest team, achieving the draw. Panathinaikos was capable even to win the match, thanks to the chances created but which were… squandered.

An hour after the kick off, Berg … alerted the Danish team by executing directly a foul from the left side which passed slightly off Toppel’s post. Brondby’s goalkeeper was not able to… escape “destiny” which occurred five minutes later; Lod crossed a nice ball from the left side and Ivanov optimized it by an outstanding spinning header, scoring a “golden” goal for Panathinaikos, a 1-1 draw.

Alexander Zorniger’s team had just one more chance, when Hjioulsager’s shoot was blocked by Steele in the 74th minute. Our team attacked again in the 82nd minute, as Lod shot and Toppel saved by stretching his body. He probably avoided a possible 1-2, but… not the elimination!

Brondby: Toppel, Holst, (67′ Urenia), Hermansson Rocker, Larsson, Norgaard, Phiri (Corlow), Hjioulsager, Mukhtar , Wilczek, Pukki (83′ Jacobsen).

Panathinaikos: Steele, Koutroumbis, Moledo, Ivanov, Μesto, Ζeca, Ledesma (59’ Lod), Hult (86’ Villafañes), Ιbarbo (46’ Leto), Wakaso, Berg.

Have a look to some photos from the match in “Brondby Stadion”: