The duo of Chuba Akpom and Anderson Esiti were in action for PAOK Thessaloniki in their UEFA Champions League qualification tie with Benfica on Tuesday.
It was a memorable day on the pitch and their teammates as they recorded a shocking 2 – 1 over the Portuguese giants at the Toumba stadium.
While Anderson Esiti was introduced in the 80th minute, Akpom started the game and had a hand in one of PAOK Thessaloniki’goal before he was substituted with 20 minutes left.
Benfica were the better side in the first half and PAOK had their goalkeeper Zivko Zivkovic as he repeatedly had to save most of the efforts of the visitors.
The second half was a completely different game though: PAOK was much more active, mainly through counterattacks, and it was in one of those that Dimitris Giannoulis ran from the left, Chuba Akpom crossed the ball into the box back toward Giannoulis before Jan Vertonghen sent the ball into this own net on the 64th.
Andrija Zivkovic added the second for PAOK with a right-foot volley nine minutes after replacing Chuba Akpom.
Benfica got their consolation goal in the fourth minute of time added time through Rafa Silva.
Thessaloniki is now one step away from making it to the Champions League group stage for the first time in its history.
After eliminating Besiktas and Benfica, a win in the next home-and-away gamed against Russian side Krasnodar, this time will guarantee them a place in the Group stage.
The first game will be played next Tuesday in Russia and the return in Thessaloniki on September 29 or 30.
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