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Déjà vu for APOEL, AEK face Czech test

Cyprus champions APOEL celebrate a famous victory over Rosenborg in Nicosia on Tuesday night

APOEL have been drawn against FC Copenhagen in the Champions League playoff round in a repeat of the 2009 edition, when the Cypriots knocked out the Danes to reach the group stage of the competition for the first time in their history.

AEK Larnaca will face the Czech Republic outfit Slovan Liberec in the Europa League.

After scoring three goals in injury time on Tuesday against Rosenborg to seal their place in the playoff round, APOEL were handed another Scandinavian side in Friday’s draw, one who they have very fond memories of facing.

And APOEL’s recent history against Nordic sides has been very favourable: In 2014, they reached the group stage by defeating Denmark’s Aalborg 5-1 on aggregate just before they had disposed of HJK Helsinki, while last year, they saw off Danish side FC Midtjylland on away goals (2-2 aggregate) to reach the Champions League playoff.

As was the case in 2009, and in a slight advantage for APOEL, the second leg will take place at the GSP Stadium on Wednesday, August 24. The first leg will take place on Tuesday, August 16 at the Telia Parken.

AEK Larnaca pulled off one of the upsets of the round on Thursday when they defeated Spartak Moscow thanks to an 89th minute Ivan Trickovski goal.
Imanol Idiakez’s men will now face Slovan Liberec from the Czech Republic in a bid to reach the Europa League group stage for the second time in their history.

Slovan joined the competition in the third round and defeated Austrian outfit Admira 4-1 on aggregate. The first leg will be played in Cyprus on August 18, while the second leg will be in the Czech Republic the following Thursday, August 25.

Champions League playoff draw:

Ludogorets Razgrad (Bulgaria) v FC Viktoria Plzen (Czech Republic)

Celtic (Scotland) v Hapoel Beer-Sheva (Israel)

FC Copenhagen (Denmark) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus)

Dundalk (Republic of Ireland) v Legia Warsaw (Poland)

Dinamo Zagreb (Croatia) v FC Salzburg (Austria)

Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Manchester City (England)

FC Porto (Portugal) v Roma (Italy)

Ajax (Netherlands) v Rostov (Russia)

Young Boys (Switzerland) v Borussia Monchengladbach (Germany)

Villarreal (Spain) v Monaco (France)

The first legs will take place on 16/17 August with the second legs on 23/24 August.

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