- APOELARA to the Playoff Round! -
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - 3RD QUALIFYING ROUND, LEG 2
|APOEL||3 - 0||Rosenborg|
De Vincenti 90'+6'
|(4 - 2)
THREE goals in stoppage time gave APOEL the 3-0 victory over Rosenborg to advance to the UEFA Champions League Playoff Qualifying Round. With the first leg in Norway ending 2-1 in favor of Rosenborg, Gianniotas’ 91st minute goal ultimately gave APOEL the victory they were looking for with the hosts adding two more goals in an emphatic and late 3-0 victory.
APOEL did everything right in today’s game, but fell unlucky in the first 90 minutes of play. With the exception of Helland’s cross that hit the woodwork, Rosenborg did not threaten the hosts. On the other hand, APOEL wasted many chances to take the lead. Efrem missed two tremendous opportunities in front of goal (12’, 37’), Alexandrou’s shot was stopped by the crossbar (50th minute), and Sotiriou’s offside goal was rightfully disallowed in the 70th minute. With Rosenborg barely holding onto the 0-0 draw, a score that would send them through, APOEL looked for the one goal that would give them the victory and win on aggregate.
A fantastic cross from substitute Vander, set up Giannis Gianniotas at the back post, who gave APOEL the 1-0 lead in the first minute of stoppage time. The stadium erupted as players and fans celebrated the goal that would ultimately send them to the playoff qualifying round of the Champions League. APOEL was not done there and four minutes later, Gianniotas turned provider for Vander who doubled APOEL’s lead. With Rosenborg in a state of shock, De Vicente added a third in the 6th minute of stoppage time concluding a magical night for the Cypriot Champions.
APOEL will now play in the Playoff Qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League as progression will send them to the group stage. Regardless of what happened in the final round of qualifying, APOEL has secured their place in the Europa League group Stage, with the defeated teams from the Champions League Playoff Round moving to UEFA’s 2nd tier competition.