By Nemanja Bjedov
Cypriot teams met with mixed fortunes in Thursday night’s Europa League clashes.
Apollon became the first Cypriot club to avoid defeat in Poland as Gaston Sangoy struck the winner against Legia 1-0 in the second round of Group J. Back in Nicosia, however, APOEL, were outclassed 3-0 by Germany’s Eintracht Frankfurt at the GSP Stadium in Group F.
“I am not that surprised that we won here, as we knew how Legia played,” Sangoy told UEFA.com after he missed a penalty in the first half and then hit an unexpected winner.
“Of course, I was nervous when I missed the penalty in the first half, but my teammates encouraged me not to think too much about it, and I quickly put it behind me.
“I got my payback in the second half. I want to dedicate this goal to my family, who are in Cyprus right now, my mother and my fiancée.
“This win makes us feel very positive about the next games. It’s a pity we dropped three points against Trabzonspor in the first match but, thanks to this victory in Warsaw, we are back on the right track,” the Argentinean forward concluded.
Apollon coach Christakis Christodoulou echoed his delight with the result: “I want to thank the people who came to Poland and could not even watch the match at the stadium … I dedicate this victory to them. This win is for the entire (island) and for all the Cypriot teams.”
Apollon’s next match in the domestic league is scheduled for Monday evening when they take on Doxa Katokopia away from home, while APOEL host Aris.
Assessing the result, APOEL coach Paulo Sergio noted: “first I’d like to point out that we faced a team which is stronger than us.
“In the first half we had five corners, while they had only two, but unfortunately we conceded an own goal. We were definitely unlucky to go down.
“In the second half we decided to take some risks and this resulted in us conceding again,” he went on. “From that point on our concentration was shattered and they scored their third goal.
“We created some opportunities as well, and I can’t say I was unhappy with how we played. I definitely believe in these players and am sure the team has bright future,” Sergio added.
Over the weekend, Ethnikos Achnas host Ermis Aradippou in the Round 5 opener on Saturday at 6pm at the Dasaki Stadium in Achna, while an hour later AEL face AEK in Limassol.
On Sunday at 6pm, AEK Kouklion take on Anorthosis, while Alki meet Omonia in Larnaca. An hour later Enosis Neon Paralimni will be looking to record their first victory of the season and improve their dismal goal difference, 1-12, when they host Nea Salamina.