By Nemanja Bjedov
APOLLON and APOEL turn their focus to the national championship on Monday after their Europa League exploits on Thursday night.
The Limassol side secured a goalless stalemate against Italian giants Lazio, while Cyprus champions APOEL had their hearts broken in the last minute as they fell to a 2-1 loss in Bordeaux.
“It was a very difficult game against the best team in our group, said Apollon coach Christakis Christoforou.
“There were occasional chances at both ends and possession alternated throughout. I think that my players did well and that we have deserved this result,” he added.
“I would like to thank our fans and sometimes I wonder if we would be able to do so well without them.”
Apollon still have reasonable chance of reaching the knock-out stage of Europa League, but they will have to do well in the remaining two games away from home against both Lazio and Trabzonspor, while Legia arrives to Cyprus.
“Our objective remains the same. We are in this competition for experience; however, the treasurer of the club must be the happiest person since in these difficult financial times we got him another hundred thousand euros. Throughout these games we want to get better and try to push for the best results locally, but we do not plan to give up ahead of time when we visit Rome and Trabzon,” Christoforou concluded.
Both Apollon and APOEL will play their national championship Round 7 games on Monday night when the ruling champions host the league leaders Anorthosis in what should be the most interesting match of the round, while Christoforou’s men visit Ethnikos in Achna.
Elsewhere, in Round 7 opener, on Saturday afternoon at 5pm, AEK Kouklion face Alki, while an hour later AEK take on Nea Salamina at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca in what is a minor city derby.
Toni Savevski’s Omonia will be looking to record their third consecutive victory when they meet Doxa Katokopia away from home.
On Sunday afternoon at 5pm, Enosis Neon Paralimni, who are still winless this season, face in-form Ermis Aradippou, while at 6pm at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol AEL take on Aris in another city derby.
By Nemanja Bjedov