|Dinamo Tbilisi 0-0 Panathinaikos Athens|
|Teams in europe|
|Written by Lasha|
|Thursday, 07 August 2008 01:15|
Panathinaikos confirmed its spot in the 3rd Qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League by holding onto a 3-0 aggregate lead they carved out in Greece last week. The Trifilli were favourite to advance but a little more could've been expected after Dinamo Tbilisi was reduced to ten men just before the eighty minute mark.
Dinamo Tbilisi felt comfortable at home and they displayed their confidence by putting Panathinaikos on their heels for much of the first half. Desperate for goals Dinamo began to launch the ball from everywhere and forced Panathinaikos goalkeeper Mario Galinovic into many fine saves. The most promising chance for Dinamo came in the thirty-third minute from David Odikadze, but Galinovic was up to the task. The Dinamo attack went quiet shortly before the second half as the free flowing game from the Georgians began to congest the middle of the pitch. Seeking more attacking assurance from his own club, Henk Ten Cate introduced Ante Rukavina in place of Evangelos Mantzios ahead of the call for halftime.
The second half appeared to begin the same way as the first half as Dinamo tested the Panathinaikos defense once again. Panathinaikos quickly turned the tide with Lazaros Christodoulopoulos having a crack at goal, only to have the Didier Ovono make an easy save. The match featured only one more chance with the opportuniy coming from a Mikael Nilsson cross and a Rukavina header, unfortunately for the young Croatian the ball sailed over the bar. Time was ticking on Dinamo's European season and the chances of a miracle - which were already slim - took a late blow as Nikoloz Pirtskhalava was sent off after his second caution of the night. Panahtinaikos continued to man the ship unti lthe final whistle which allowed them to book their spot in the final qualifying round.
Panathinaikos will now meet the winner of the decisive tie between Sparta Prague (Czech Republic) and Sherif (Moldova). Gilberto Silva made his Panathinaikos debut when he was subbed in for Sotirios Ninis five minutes after the restart. Andreas ivanschitz, who played a critical role in the 3-0 win last week, was absent this evening but is expected to return ahead of the club's 3rd round tie.
Dinamo Tbilisi (Rainer Tsobel): Ovono, Nergadze (67′ Djousse), Kroko, Kashia, Tomashvili, Gvelesiani (78′ Jishkariani), Khmaladze, Pirtskhalava, Odikadze, Spasojevic (66′ Vatsadze), Akiremy.
Panathinaikos (Henk Ten Cate): Galinovic, Nilsson, Spiropoulos, Goumas, Vyntra, Mattos, Simao, Christodoulopoulos (73′ Karagounis), Ninis (50′ Gilberto Silva), Salpingidis, Mantzios (34′ Rukavina)
Referee: Pavel Cristian Balaj
Yellow cards: Pirtskhalava, Djousse (Dinamo) - Goumas (Panahtinaikos)
Red Cards: Pirtskhalava (2 yellows)