Aris and PAOK through in Europe
The Greek Super League’s Macedonian giants will represent Greece when the draw for the Europa League round of 32 is made
Greece will have two representatives in the 2010/11 Europa League round of 32 after Aris and PAOK both progressed continuing their good form in the competition.
Dinamo Zagreb (Cro) 0-1 PAOK
Dimitris Salpingidis struck exactly on the hour to confirm PAOKs place in the next round, with defeat condemning Dinamo Zagreb to Group D oblivion.
The 29-year-old said, "We are very satisfied with the way things went in Zagreb. We were expecting a tough match and this was the first time most of the players had played in conditions like this. It was very cold. We will celebrate this win but we are really exhausted."
Spanish midfielder Vitolo added: "We didn't play well in the first half; Dinamo were the better side. Dimitris secured us a very important victory." Substitute Lucio Filomeno continued: "It is too early to think about playing in Europe in the spring. We have to celebrate this win first. I will remember Zagreb for this important win. The stadium was full and the atmosphere was great."
Salpingidis had scarcely made his presence felt before he scampered through to fire a low shot past Ivan Kelava on the break, as Dinamo once more missed a chance to book themselves a place in the spring stage of a UEFA club competition.
The Croatian champions last survived a European winter in the 1969/70 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup.
That long run of bad luck might have explained Dinamo's early nerves; disaster almost struck as a clearance was deflected goal-ward by Stefanos Anthanasiadis, but Kelava saved.
Knowing a draw would see them through, PAOK felt no compulsion to push forward, and Dinamo edgily took the initiative, Arijan Ademi and Milan Badelj trying their luck.
Ivan Tomecak then had his head in his hands, failing to find the target after PAOK goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias punched a swirling cross from the left to his feet.
More frustration followed: Fatos Beciraj flicked a corner on to Tomecak but his close-range shot cannoned into Pablo Contreras on the goal line, while with half-time approaching, Sammir's free-kick curled against the outside of Chalkias's right-hand post.
With PAOK continuing to hold firm after the break, Vahid Halilhodzic sent on Ante Rukavina as an extra striker, but his side almost immediately went behind to the hitherto anonymous Salpingidis.
The ball rarely left the PAOK half thereafter, with Miroslav Slepicka and Andrej Kramaric added to Dinamo's striking armoury, but the closest the game came to seeing another goal was when Athanasiadis sliced wide a gift of a chance to kill off the game 20 minutes from the end.
Aris 2-0 Rosenborg (NOR)
Aris defeated Rosenborg in their final Group B game to reach the UEFA Europa League round of 32 at the expense of holders Club Atletico de Madrid.
Croatian forward Danijel Cesarec made the breakthrough in the closing seconds of the first half, a lead which was only doubled at the end of the second as Ricardo Faty scored a rather more stylish effort to ease the nerves of the agitated Hector Cuper.
The win cemented second spot behind Bayer 04 Leverkusen, with Atletico eliminated in third.
In theory, Rosenborg had nothing to play for; already certain to finish bottom of Group B and their domestic season over, the Norwegian champions were nevertheless aware that this would be their last game under Trondheim legend Nils Arne Eggen.
Markus Henriksen had the first meaningful shot of the game, before Daniel Orlund got down to block from home No8 Juan Carlos Toja.
Orlund made an excellent diving save to push a powerful Michel free-kick wide midway through the first half, but Rosenborg were looking the more dangerous side until Cuper's men played their joker in added time.
Sergio Koke's shot looped up off Mikael Dorsin and over Orlund, and while the goalkeeper managed to push the ball on to the bar, Cesarec was on hand to nod it into the unguarded net.
Thereafter, Aris's 40-year unbeaten UEFA club competition home record rarely looked in danger; it is no accident that the last four European games at the Kleanthis Vikelidis Stadium have produced just three goals, all of them winners for the home side.
Michalis Sifakis saved well from Dorsin and Morten Moldskred, but substitute Faty had the final say, gathering Mattias Bjarsmyr's attempted clearance, and teeing himself up to drive home.
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