By Nemanja Bjedov
Cypriot champions APOEL were held to a goalless draw by Israeli side Maccabi Tel Aviv in the fifth round of Europa’s Group F on Thursday at Nicosia’s GSP Stadium.
In what was an evenly-matched affair, APOEL needed to secure a victory to keep their chances of progressing into the knock-out stage of the competition realistic.
Nevertheless, despite a scoreless draw they still have a theoretical chance of advancing – but they will need a convincing victory over Eintracht Frankfurt in Germany, while hoping French side Bordeaux beat Maccabi in Israel.
Eintracht secured participation in the round of 32 after they celebrated a 1-0 victory over Bordeaux in France on Thursday, while Maccabi are second with eight points and APOEL third with five points.
Elsewhere in Europa on Thursday, Trabzonspor saw off a late comeback from Apollon to secure a place in the round of 32. The hosts ended the visitors’ European dreams with a 4-2 victory in the fifth round of Group J at the Hüseyin Avni Aker Stadium.