AEK Larnaca seal qualification with late goal in Moldova
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 1ST QUALIF. ROUND (LEG 2)
AEK Larnaca successfully passed Petrocub Hincesti’s obstacle by prevailing with a 0:1 scoreline in Moldova, 0:2 on aggregate, to advance to the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League.
Despite a strong start to the second half by Petrocub, AEK were the better team throughout the match. It did, however, take the visitors 93 minutes to find the breakthrough as Jean Luc Assoubre’s marker sealed AEK’s second win over their opponents.
The Larnaca side will now face Bulgarian outfit, Levski Sofia, in the second qualifying round. The first game will take place at the AEK Arena next week while the second leg on August 1st in Sofia.
AEK started the game well by controlling the pace and moving the ball around as they looked to penetrate Petrocub’s defense. In the fifth minute, Lluis Sastre found Mikel Gonzalez, but his header was not much of a trouble to Cristian Avram. Petrocub focused on their defensive duties and did not take any risks early on.
The visitors touched the goal with Tete in the 34th minute as his effort hit Avram’s crossbar. Petrocub improved in the late stages of the first half, however AEK did well to withstand the pressure and the game went into half-time goalless.
The home side started the second half really strong and after two minutes, Vladimir Ambros saw his shot go wide from a difficult angle. It did not take Ambros long to threaten again as he went face-to-face with Tono Ramirez, but his effort went once again wide. In the 51st minute, Ambros was in the action again, missing a third consecutive chance as Tono successfully stopped his shot.
The game leveled out after Petrocub’s fast start, but both teams were unable to create goal-scoring opportunities with the time passing in AEK’s favor. When it seemed as if the match would end goalless, an effort from Jean Luc Assoubre, who just entered the game, gave AEK the breakthrough and a two-goal aggregate lead, a scoreline that held through to the final whistle.
AEK Larnaca (Imanol Idiakez): Tono Ramirez (GK), Guillem Truyols, Daniel Mojsov, Nacho Cases, Mikel Gonzalez, Tete, Hector Hevel (Jean Luc Assoubre), Acoran Reyes (Raul Ruiz), Lluis Sastre, Apostolos Giannou (Florian Taulemesse), Ivan Trickovski ©
FC Petrocub (Lilian Popescu): Cristian Avram (GK), Victor Mudrac, Maxim Potirniche, Jacques Ndzomo, Andrei Cojocari, Jessie Djou, Ion Jardan (Vadim Gulceac), Alexandru Bejan (Ion Ursu), Dan Taras (Vladimir Bodganovic), Vlad Slivca, Vladimir Ambros ©