In the first official game for 2017/18 season, Panathinaikos did a serious and pithy game and was able to limit the team of Gabala in a rather passive role. Indeed, if the “Greens” were more careful in their final attempts, then the score would be wider. The team from Azerbaijan was lucky enough as the ball was “stopped” by Bezostony’s post twice! In the rematch to be played in Baku on the 3rd of August, Panathinaikos’ will have to defend its victory (1-0) achieved in Athens.

Supported by 12.000 fans, the “Shamrock” entered the game with dynamism. In the 6th minute Altman twisted in the opponent’s box but his shoot was redirected into a corner by Bezostony. One minute later Zeca by a long shoot sent the ball straight to the arms of Gabala’s goalie! In the 10th minute Lod shot a foul; the ball went just out after hitting the left post of the rival goalposts. In the 18th minute Vlachodimos saved a long shoot from Ozobic.

The goal came finally in the 37th minute. Chatziyiovannis did a cross from the right side and Gourbanov, trying not to let Molins to pass over, lifted up his hand and hit the ball. The penalty was whistled by the referee and Molins shot and scored (1-0).

In the second half, Panathinaikos entered the game with a lot of strength losing a great chance in the 52nd minute. Molins find himself in a good position into the box, but Bezostony stopped his shoot. In the 59th minute a great opportunity appeared when Robin Lod, after an impressive “slalom”, dribbled three of his opponents but again Gabala’s goalkeeper was there to save the situation with his feet. Lod lost one more chance in the 74th minute when he shot, from 25 meters away, but the ball went straight to the right post.

At the end of the duel all fans were applauding Panathinaikos’ players for their great appearance.

The lineups:

PANATHINAIKOS:Vlachodimos, Coulybali, Moledo, Kolovetsios, Hult, Zeca, Kourbelis, Chatziyiovannis (70′ Cabezas), Lod, Altman (87′ Donis), Molins (70′ Luciano).

GABALA:Bezostony, Gourbanov, Vernitumb, Stankovic, Boulheis, Mollown (77′ Kone), Husseinov, Halliday, Joseph-Monrose, Ozobic, Dabo.