Cyprus Mail

Woodwork denies Omonia in narrow defeat, AEK come from behind to win

Omonia players looking dejected

Omonia were left feeling hard done by following a 1-0 defeat to Beitar Jerusalem while AEK came from two down to beat Cliftonville 3-2 in the Europa League second qualifying round first leg.

Despite playing in front of an intimidating home crowd, Omonia started brightly. On 13 minutes, Derbyshire connected with Sheridan’s low cross but the Englishman’s effort crashed off the woodwork.

Derbyshire had the ball in the net midway through the half, only for his effort to be correctly ruled out for offside.

On 67 minutes, Panteliadis whipped a free-kick over the wall but Omonia would again be denied by the crossbar.

And despite their impressive showing, they were made to pay five minutes later as a swift breakaway ended in a fine side-footed volley from Abuhatzira to hand Beitar a narrow win.

It was a nightmare start for AEK in Northern Ireland, as McGuinness headed the home side to a 1-0 lead after just 18 minutes. The Larnaca side’s European season came under serious doubt early in the second period when Donnelly made it 2-0.

However, Trickovski on 59 minutes, and Charalambous moments later, pulled them square. And the turnaround was complete with 13 minutes to go when Joan Tomas lashed home from close range to give AEK a healthy advantage.

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