Three different results for Cypriot teams in Europa League

Three different results for Cypriot teams in Europa League
 

AEK, AEL and Apollon recorded a win, a draw and a defeat, respectively in the first leg of the Europa League 3rd qualifying round. Despite the different results, all teams put together good performances and have high hopes to proceed to the playoff round of qualifying. 

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AEK Larnaka had the easiest opponent on paper and with a serious performance showed why they were considered the favourites over Dinamo Minsk. The hosts rushed into the game taking control of the pace and looked for the opener as the Belarusians sat back and defend. A few minutes before halftime, the Larnakeis found the breakthrough with Tete’s super goal. The second half was an attacking monologue from AEK, who doubled their lead with Hevel in the 70th minute. The match finished 2-0 in favor of AEK as the hosts recoreed a good result before they visit Belarus next week in the second leg. Highlights can be found here...

AEL Limassol visited Vienna to face local side Austria Wien coached by APOEL’s former manager Thorsten Fink. The visitors were well organized and in the first half, they threatened the Austrians with great counterattacks which resulted in three great chances to open the scoring. Early on in the second half, AEL continued their good defending and attacking play, however as the match went on, the hosts began to push up more and more. In the final 20 minutes, Fink’s players searched to find a goal, but AEL survived and will return to Cyprus with a 0-0 scoreline from the first leg.  Highlights can be found here...

Apollon Limassol put up a tough fight in Scotland against Aberdeen and despite a 2-1 defeat, they are well in the hunt to turn that result around in the second leg. The hosts, with the help of 20,000 enthusiastic fans, opened the scoring only 4 minutes into the game with Christie’s header. The goal stunned the visiting players as Aberdeen controlled the play in the remainder of the first half. Some halftime changes from Apollon, quickly made an impact on the Limassol side’s play as they wasted two important chances before Santana equalized in the 61st minute. A few minutes after the goal, Apollon were left with ten men after Sacchetti saw a second yellow card. Aberdeen took full advantage of the extra man and with Shinnie’s goal, the hosts walked away with a narrow 2-1 win. Apollon’s display in the second half will leave fans confident that their team’s quality can overcome the first leg defeat when they host the Scottish side next Thursday will full support from their fans.  Highlights can be found here...

 
by: Marios Antoniou
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