By Nemanja Bjedov
Cypriot champions APOEL defeated French side Bordeaux 2-1 in the fourth round of Europa’s Group F on Thursday night at Nicosia’s GSP Stadium, with Nektarios Alexandrou scoring after only 13 minutes to open the proceedings.
Alexandrou connected with Mario Sergio’s free kick to send the ball blazing past keeper Cedric Carrasso, setting the tone for what proved to be an eventful encounter, seeing both teams scoring and being reduced to ten men.
Ludovic Sane levelled the score two minutes into the first-half injury time, then each side relinquished a player just after the interval, when Croatian forward Mario Budimir and Landry N’Guemo were both sent off.
Thereafter, Nuno Morais set up the final score in the 55th minute, helping his team climb to third place in Group F with four points, three points behind Maccabi Tel Aviv who arrive next in the Cypriot capital.
Morais made a good run from midfield and exchanged passes with Constantinos Charalambides, to calmly slot the ball home, after a lucky deflection off Sane.
APOEL thereafter kept up the pressure, but Carrasso made some brilliant saves to save his team from embarrassment.
Elsewhere in Group F, Maccabi beat group leaders Eintracht Frankfurt 4-2 in Israel and they now trail the German side by only two points, while Bordeaux are rock bottom after the APOEL defeat with three points overall.