Europa League

September 20, 2012

Full-time

NK Maribor

3 - 0

Panathinaikos

Group J

19:05 +00:00, September 20, 2012

Ljudski vrt

Referee: Alan Kelly

Maribor down Greeks

Maribor claimed their maiden Europa League group stage victory after downing Panathinaikos in impressive fashion.

The Slovenian champions, who last season only managed one point from their six group matches after reaching this stage for the first time, took a first-half lead through Robert Beric and his strike partner Agim Ibraimi made it 2-0 just after the hour.

Marcos Tavares, who played a part in both those goals, then added a third from the penalty spot in the 88th minute to seal the victory and leave Maribor at the top of Group J above heavyweights Tottenham and Lazio.

In an encounter between two teams who were knocked out of the Champions League play-offs, in-form Maribor were quickly on the attack with Dejan Mezga shooting over in the first minute and Ibraimi testing visiting goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis soon after.

Maribor, who are unbeaten in their domestic league with seven wins from nine matches, then comfortably survived a couple of Panathinaikos forays forward before taking the lead in the 25th minute.

Tavares created the chance with a clever pass through to Beric, who took a touch before thumping his shot past Karnezis.

The hosts sought to build on their lead before the break but efforts from distance from Tavares, Ibraimi and Beric failed to seriously trouble Karnezis.

Karnezis was called into action again in the 53rd minute following another shot from Ibraimi before his Maribor counterpart Jasmin Handanovic was finally tested a minute later with a Lazaros Christodoulopoulos shot that he parried.

The danger was not cleared though and Jose Carlos Zeca might have drawn the Greek side level only to see his shot go wide.

Five minutes after that incident Maribor had doubled their lead.

Tavares' cross was blocked but Ibraimi was on hand to fire a shot inside the far post as Karnezis was beaten for a second time.

There was no way back for Pana after that and Maribor had chances to increase their lead with Tavares heading wide from six yards before Nejc Potokar was denied by Karnezis.

Brazilian Tavares did get on the scoresheet before the end though, slotting home from the spot after he had been fouled inside the area by Ibrahim Sissoko, while a miserable night for Pana was made complete when Nikos Spyropoulos was dismissed for a second bookable offence right at the end.

Scoring Summary

NK Maribor Panathinaikos
Robert Beric (25') 
Agim Ibraimi (62') 
Marcos Magno Morales Tavares (pen 88') 

Teams

NK Maribor Panathinaikos
33 Jasmin Handanovic27 Orestis Karnezis
Ales MejacJean Alain Boumsong
26 Aleksander Rajcevic24 Loukas Vyntra
22 Nejc Potokar31 Nikos Spyropoulos
20 Goran Cvijanovic44 Jose Manuel Velasquez
8 Dejan MezgaVictor Vitolo
70 Ales Mertelj29 Kostas Katsouranis
Martin Milec61 Quincy Owusu-Abeyie
9 Marcos Magno Morales Tavares17 ZeCarlos Gomes
10 Agim Ibraimi10 Lazaros Christodoulopoulos
32 Robert BericIbrahim Sissokho
Substitutes
12 Marko PridigarStefanos Kotsolis 25
24 Dejan TrajkovskiGiourkas Seitaridis 16
4 Jovan VidovicAndre Almeida 5
29 Timotej DodlekStergos Marinos 22
Zeljko FilipovicCharalampos Mavrias 7
21 Nikola KomazecJose Toche 9
27 Alen PlojBruno Fornaroli 14
Substitutions
Jovan Vidovic for Nejc Potokar (80)
Bruno Fornaroli for Lazaros Christodoulopoulos (56)
Timotej Dodlek for Dejan Mezga (85)
Charalampos Mavrias for Quincy Owusu-Abeyie (74)
Zeljko Filipovic for Marcos Magno Morales Tavares (90)
 
Yellow Cards
Agim Ibraimi (63)
Victor Vitolo (75)
Robert Beric (90)
Nikos Spyropoulos (85)
 Jose Manuel Velasquez (89)
Red Cards
 Nikos Spyropoulos (90)
· Squads: NK Maribor | Panathinaikos