Salpingidis sends Salonika through
Dimitris Salpingidis' second-half goal sent PAOK Salonika through to the Europa League knockout stage with victory away to Dinamo Zagreb this evening.
The visitors, who started the evening a point ahead of their opponents and knowing a draw would send them through, weathered a first-half onslaught from the Croatian side before Salpingidis gave them a shock lead shortly after the break.
That left Dinamo needing to score twice to progress, but PAOK stood firm to go qualify from Group D in second place behind Villarreal.
Dinamo came flying out of the blocks as they looked to establish an early lead.
Fatos Beciraj fired wide and Milan Badelj brought a save from PAOK goalkeeper Kostas Chalkias with an 18-yard effort.
Chalkias, it seemed, was going to be in for a busy night and he flapped at a cross from Leandro Cufre before Ivan Tomecak guided the follow-up over the top from 15 yards with the keeper stranded.
It was one-way traffic and just before the half hour mark Dinamo carved out another opening.
Jorge Sammir's outswinging corner from the right dropped to Tomislav Barbaric, who stretched to divert the ball towards goal from the six yard line but his effort was blocked on the line by defender Pablo Contreras.
Sammir chanced his arm himself four minutes before the break, but his free-kick came back off the post as PAOK went into the interval on level terms.
The Greeks looked more adventurous at the start of the second half as Stefanos Athanasiadis' long-range effort was tipped round the post by keeper Ivan Kelava.
But the goal which put them ahead in the 59th minute still came out of the blue.
Athanasiadis' through-ball slipped Salpingidis in the inside left position and he fired left-footed low inside the near post from the edge of the area, with Kelava seemingly not set for the shot.
Dinamo applied plenty of pressure as they tried to find a way back into the game, but as the clock ticked down their attacks became increasingly desperate and PAOK kept them at bay with ease.
The Greeks even had a chance to finish with a flourish in stoppage time when Lucio Filomeno got free down the left but, with a team-mate waiting at the far post, he went for goal himself and Kelava turned his shot away.