APOEL in complete control after first leg
APOEL hosted Slavia Prague in the first leg of the Champions League playoff qualifying round with Giorgos Donis’ team managing to get a very important 2-0 win, giving the Cypriots complete control before next week’s game in Prague.
The Galazokitrinoi entered the game determined to take control of the home field advantage and wasted no time to show their teeth to the Czech opposition. Just two minutes into the game, Igor De Camargo scored from Ebecillio’s corner to give the hosts a tremendous start to the match. However, the Cypriot champions were not done there as Ebecilio served again eight minutes later, with Aloneftis scoring a magnificent goal chipping the ball over Slavia’s goalkeeper for a 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes.
The two goal advantage gave APOEL the ability to slow the pace of game and control the result. Slavia attempted to respond on two occasions, but Waterman was up to the task to keep the clean sheet. APOEL’s De Camargo was denied a second goal by goalkeeper Lastufka and the 2-0 scoreline remained at halftime.
In the second half, APOEL gave space to Slavia and looked to strike on the counterattack. Slavia came close to an important away goal in the 58th minute but Waterman’s double effort save kept APOEL in control. Slavia continued the pressure with Mesanovic hitting the post in the 77th minute, however after that chance, APOEL regained the upper hand and held a very solid 2-0 home win.
APOEL will look to finish the job in the next week’s second leg in the Czech Republic. An away goal for the Galazokitrini will surely set the stage for a place in the Champions League group stages.