Olympiakos and PAOK remain in with a chance to qualify to the semifinals of the Europa Conference League after Thursday’s first-leg games, with the Piraeus giant beating Fenerbahce 3-2 at home and the Thessaloniki team going down 1-0 at Club Bruges.

The evening had looked much more promising for the Reds at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium after one hour’s play, as Olympiakos led 3-0 with a stunning performance that had the Turks in trouble.

Kostas Fortounis opened the score after barely eight minutes on the clock and Stevan Jovetic gave the hosts a 2-0 lead on the 32nd.

Then 12 minutes into the second half Chiquinho made it 3-0, but just as it seemed the Reds were heading for a triumph, a silly penalty conceded by Panayiotis Retsos gave Dusan Tadic the chance to pull one back on the 68th, and six minutes on Irfan Kahveci scored Fener’s second, that leaves the tie wide open ahead of next week’s return leg in Turkey.

PAOK lost in Belgium to a Bruges that was clearly superior. The Greeks will feel lucky they conceded only one goal in this game.

They went behind to a very early goal, from the sixth minute, by Hugo Vetlesen and would have let more in were it not for keeper Dominik Kotarski.

PAOK’s Croatian keeper made several saves, as well as denying Thiago’s penalty kick 12 minutes from the end.

The return games are scheduled for next Thursday.

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