APOEL Fall at Home to Anderlecht
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - ROUND OF 16 (LEG 1)
|APOEL||0 - 1||Anderlecht|
APOEL were defeated 0-1 at home against Anderlecht in their first leg clash for the UEFA Europa League Round of 16 with Stanciu’s 29th minute goal separating the sides at the final whistle.
After knocking out Athletic Bilbao in the Europa League Round of 32, APOEL hoped for a good result over Anderlecht as they hosted the Belgian side in today’s first leg clash. Unfortunately it was not the Cypriot Champions’ night as a 29th minute goal from Stanciu gave the visitors an important 0-1 win on the road.
The hosts had trouble creating anything on the attack in the opening half and one defensive lapse and a good finish from Stanciu led to Anderlecht’s goal in the 29th minute. After the restart, APOEL went on the offensive as they created opportunities for an equalizer, but were unable to find one with the absence of their star strike Pieros Sotiriou clearly affecting APOEL’s finishing in the final third of the pitch.
APOEL came inches away from an equalizer three minutes from time when Vander’s free-kick hit the crossbar, however the ball stayed out. As the hosts pressed to pull level, on the other end Anderlecht failed to increase their lead as they wasted multiple opportunities on the counter-attack.
The result makes Anderlecht the heavy favorites to advance to the next round of the competition when they host APOEL next week in the second leg.