Apoel and AEL played out a dire goalless draw in the first leg of their Cyprus Cup quarter-final at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia on Wednesday, meaning the fourth team to join Apollon, Doxa and Anorthosis in the semi-finals will be decided in the return leg in a fortnight’s time in Limassol.
The game was played in front of just a few hundred fans consisting of pensioners, children and women as Apoel were serving a ‘behind closed doors’ punishment for their supporters’ behaviour during a game against Omonia three weeks ago.
Apoel made five changes to the team that lost to AEK on Saturday while AEL introduced Piti and Mavrou to their starting eleven to add some penetration up front.
However the changes failed to make any impact to either side as the first half was played at a very slow pace. Just two half-chances were created, one for each side.
The second half followed the same pattern as the first until the final 15 minutes when Apoel upped the pressure in search of a goal that would have given them the advantage going into the second leg.
However it was AEL who almost snatched the lead through Marco Soares but his goalbound effort was well saved by keeper Urko Pardo.
The best chances for Apoel fell to their striker Igor de Camargo but he was unable to beat AEL goalkeeper Romo, first with a header and then with a shot from inside the area that was deflected wide.