Benfica 1-1 PAOK: Benfica's lack of clinical finishing proves costly as they fail to secure home victory
Benfica failed to hold on to their slim lead in the first leg of the Champions League playoff, and also conceded an away goal to further reduce their hopes of qualification for Europe's elite competition.
Benfica, who were being observed by Portugal manager Fernando Santos, were the dominant side in the first half, having several chances to put the game being doubt within the first quarter, with Pizzi also hitting the bar with a delicately lobbed shot which beat the keeper, but their lack of clinical finishing meant the game was always on a knife edge.
However, their hard work paid off after a soft penalty was awarded in favour of Benfica on the stroke of half time and Pizzi, who has been in astonishingly fine scoring form for Benfica this season, converted with a well placed strike to the left-hand side, sending the goalkeeper the wrong way in the process.
Deep into the second half, it looked as though Benfica were set to earn an unspectacular, and equally unflattering, 1-0 victory, but PAOK pulled the game back to level terms in the 76th minute courtesy of Amir Warda, who smashed his shot home on the rebound after Matos hit the crossbar.
Despite late pressure from Benfica, including a last second strike from teenage star João Felix, Benfica failed to regain the advantage, and go into the away leg as the slight underdogs in the search for progression.
They will take hope, however, from their performance and how dominant they looked over the Greek outfit for large spells of the game.