-- 1ST PLACE for THE THRYLOS OF...CYPRUS --
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - GROUP B (MATCHDAY 6)
|APOEL||2 - 0||Olympiacos|
|da Costa (og) 19'
de Camargo 83'
APOEL defeated Olympiacos for the second time in this year’s Europa League, claiming first place in Group B. The hosts were clearly the better side in today’s fixture and came away with the 2-0 victory, scoring a goal in each half (the opener was an own goal from da Costa). Olympiacos will settle with second place in the group and will be unseeded for the draw on December 12th.
Olympiacos and APOEL fought for first place in Group B (both teams were mathematically through) as a win would only do for Olympiacos while a draw would suffice for the Cypriot Champions.
It was not much of a contest between the two teams with APOEL looking the better side on the pitch. The “dangerous” center-back duo of Viana and da Costa, which looked shaky throughout the 90 minutes of play, were at fault in the 19th minute when APOEL opened the scoring. A poor exit from Leali left Sotiriou to fight with both da Costa and Viana in front of an open net, and awful defending from the two Erythrolefki resulted in a da Costa own goal, giving APOEL the 1-0 lead.
Olympiacos only created one good chance in the opening half with Viana’s header, from Fortounis’ corner, that was denied by the woodwork.
The visitors continued to disappoint in the second half as APOEL sat back and defended their lead while Olympiacos made nothing of their possession. Bento added Dominguez and Manthatis to help the Olympiacos attack but the substitution did not have an impact. The game was put out of reach in the 83rd minute when de Camarago turned in Morais’ perfect cross from the right wing. The 2-0 score stood until the final whistle and APOEL celebrated first place in Group B while Olympiacos remained second.
In the end, second placed Olympiacos and third placed Young Boys (defeated Astana) finished tied on 8-points, but the Greek Champions had a better head-to-head record, giving them the ticket to the knockout stages. APOEL finished first with 12 points.
Olympiacos will be unseeded, along with PAOK, in the knockout stage draw which will take place on December 12th. This means both teams will be paired with a seeded team, consisting of a Europa League group winner or one of the best 4 third placed teams from the Champions League. APOEL will be seeded in Monday’s draw.