- Unfortunate for APOEL -
UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE - PLAYOFF QUALIFYING ROUND
|APOEL||1 - 1||FC Kobenhavn|
||(1 - 2)
One lapse from APOEL's back-line and goalkeeper cost them a place in this year's Champions League Group Stage. A goal in the 86th from Santander beat Waterman on his near post, giving Copenhagen the 1-1 draw on the night and ticket to the group stages. APOEL tied the score on aggregate (1-1) with Sotiriou’s goal in 69th minute. APOEL will continue on to the Europa League Group Stage.
The players of APOEL were unable to take advantage of the great atmosphere created by the the fans at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, with Copenhagen controlling the game early on. The few chances of the first half fell to the visitors and APOEL's first opportunity came 4 minutes before the break.
After a goalless first half, Copenhagen continued to look the better side as the hosts seemed incapable of finding a goal that would level the score on aggregate. However, after the hour mark APOEL began to look more confident. In the 69th minute, the stadium erupted when Nuno Morais found Sotoriou, who's great solo effort and shot beat Olsen to give APOEL the 1-0 lead (1-1 aggregate). The goal did not spark the fire that APOEL was looking for which could lead to a second goal that would kill off the game. Copenhagen re-took control of the game and their pressure in the final 20 minutes paid off. Santander was left open on the right side and his shot beat Waterman on his near post, giving Copenhagen the important away goal and advantage on aggregate (1-2). Although the goal was unfortunate for the Cypriot Champions, Copenhagen was the better side throughout the match and rightfully progressed to the Champions League Group Stages with tonight’s 1-1 draw.
APOEL could not repeat what they did in 2009 when they defeated Copenhagen 3-1 in Champions League qualifying to progress to the competition’s group stages. APOEL will continue their European campaign in the group stages of the Europa League. The draw will take place on Friday.