CHRISTOPHER ANDERSON - Monday, May 3, 2010
Eddie Johnson, Freddy Adu and the Gods of War failed to get on the scoreboard against their arch-rivals in the second game of Champions League qualification.
Both Americans got the starting nod from Hector Cuper, with Johnson playing the entirety of the game and Adu coming off just pas the hour mark.
The hosts dominated much of the play and created more opportunities, the first of which came in the third minute when Pablo Garcia pinged a 25-yard free kick off the crossbar.
Their hard work paid off in the 26th minute thanks to a long drive down the right side from Vieirinha. The Portuguese midfielder arced the ball into the box for Vladimir Ivić, who turned it in past Michalis Sifakis from the penalty spot for the 1-0 lead.
The hosts doubled their advantage in the 37th minute off a Olivier Sorlin corner from the left side. The Frenchman's delivery took a touch from Ivić's head before dropping in front of Mirko Savini for the easy strike.
Aris struggled to get forward in the opening minutes of the second half against a determined PAOK defense.
Vierinhna provided the first shot of half in the 51st minute with an individual effort from 25 yards out curved wide left.
A giveaway in the 60th from Aris defender Dario Fernandez nearly led to a third for the hosts, sending Vieirinha off to the races, but Sifakis waved away the Portuguese's chip.
Two minutes later Chilean international defender Pablo Contreras was carded for clipping Adu in the midfield.
The 20-year old Adu finished his day of hard but fruitless work on the left side in the 66th minute, being subbed out for Sergio Koke.
The two goals were all she wrote in Toumba Stadium, bringing PAOK and Olympiacos neck-to-neck in the standings with seven points each. Aris sit in third with three, while AEK remain in last place with two following their 2-1 loss in Sunday's other game against Olympiacos.
Wednesday's action sees Aris return to the capital for a 7pm clash against AEK Athens.