Apollon ride Zelaya hat trick into UEL second qualifying round
UEFA EUROPA LEAGUE - 1ST QUALIF. ROUND (LEG 2)
Apollon cruised into the second qualifying round of the UEFA Europa League with an emphatic 4:0 win over Kauno Zalgiris.
Emilio Zelaya scored early and often, with a goal just five minutes in, and with a pair of penalties, completed the hat trick. Attila Szalai tacked on a late goal in the 83rd minute to give the Limassol a big win.
Coupled with their 2:0 win in Lithuania last week, Apollon easily advanced with a 6:0 aggregate scoreline and will play either Shamrock Rovers (Ireland) or Brann (Norway), in the second qualifying round. The first leg finished 2:2 in Norway. The two teams are currently playing the second leg in Ireland.
Apollon hosted Kauno Zalgiris at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, as the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol no longer meets UEFA standards. Apollon carried in a 2:0 advantage from last week’s win in Lithuania. Just five minutes in, Joao Pedro found Emilio Zelaya cutting to the net, and Zelaya beat Deividas Mikelionis to give his side a dream start.
Brandao Figueiredo tried to answer, but he was denied by a strong save by Joel Mall. Then Figueiredo actually gave away a penalty, which Zelaya converted in the 43rd minute, doubling the Apollon advantage going into the half-time break.
Then Rudinilson Silva fouled the Apollon captain, Giorgos Vasiliou, which resulted in another penalty for the hosts. Zelaya hit the net again and on the hour mark, completed his hat trick.
An Apollon corner nearly set up Giannis Gianniotas for a goal, but this time Mikelionis made the save on the header. Mall had a scare from a powerful strike by Yurii Bushman, but was grateful to see it ring off the woodwork.
Another Apollon corner produced the final blow. Pedro served it in and found Attila Szalai, who headed it past Mikelionis, for a final score of 4:0 in favor of Apollon and 6:0 on aggregate
APOLLON (Sofronis Avgousti): 36. Joel Mall(GK), 5. Esteban Sachetti, 9. Ioannis Pittas(‘57 87. Serge Gakpe), 10. Sasa Markovic(‘70 25. Chambos Kyriakou), 11. Emilio Zelaya, 14. Facundo Pereyra, 15. Dylan Ouedraogo, 17. Joao Pedro, 18. Diego Aguirre(‘57 Giannis Giannotas), 41. Attila Szalai, 88. Giorgos Vasiliou(Captain)
Kauno Zalgiris (Mindaugas Cepas): 22. Deividas Mikelionis(GK), 3. Rudnilson Silva(‘61 18. Edvinas Kloniunas), 4. Martynas Dapkus(‘46 81. Rimvydas Sadauskas), 9. Rokas Krusnauskas(‘70 7. Benas Anisas), 10. Brandao Figueiredo, 11. Yurii Bushman, 15. Karolis Silkaitis, 17. Pijus Sirvys, 24. Arunas Klimavicius, 77. Linas Pilibaitis(Captain), 88. Dominykas Galkevicius
HIGHLIGHTS: APOLLON LIMASSOL - KAUNO ZALGIRIS