Apoel scraped through to the semi-finals of the Cyprus Cup on the away goals rule following a 1-1 draw in Limassol against AEL on Wednesday evening.
The first leg in Nicosia two weeks ago ended in a goalless draw.
Apoel’s progess to the last four was all the more impressive as they had to play the whole of the second half with ten men, due to Vander’s sending off for two bookings a couple of minutes before the break.
AEL also ended the game with ten players as Arruabarena was shown a straight red in bizarre fashion as he appeared to hack down referee Psevdiotis in added time.
The goal that gave the Nicosia giants their ticket into the the next round was scored by David Barral in the 52nd minute after sloppy play by AEL defender Lafrance.
From then on it was one-way traffic with AEL pouring forward in search of the required two goals and Apoel defending in numbers.
For all their endeavour AEL were unable to create many clear-cut opportunities with the Apoel backline limiting the AEL players to long range efforts.
In the 74th minute though AEL’s Mavrou beat the offside trap but his shot hit the side netting from an acute angle.
Seven minutes later Arruabarena headed past goalkeeper Pardo to set up a tense finish but the ten men managed to see out the game with relative ease.
The draw for the semi-finals will take place on Thursday, with Apollon, Anorthosis and Doxa Katokopias the other teams making up the line-up.