Cyprus picked up their first point in Nation’s League Group C as they held Azerbaijan to a goalless draw on Tuesday night.
Coach Johan Walem made three changes to the team that lost to Luxembourg on Saturday, bringing in Chambos Kyriacou, Minas Antoniou and rookie goalkeeper Demetris Demetriou.
It proved to be a wise decision to give Demetriou his debut as the 21-year-old goalkeeper of Apollon Limassol was the only reason the game was not over by halftime.
He made four excellent saves to deny the Azeris in the first half with Sheydaev failing to beat him on three occasions while in the 27th minute Demetriou dived to his right to save Qurayev’s spot-kick.
In the second half Cyprus improved slightly and even went close to scoring in the 62nd minute but Christophi failed to connect Pittas’ dangerous cross.
In the final 20 minutes Azerbaijan pushed hard to break the deadlock but Demetriou proved invincible, giving Cyprus almost singlehandedly their first point.
Montenegro lead the group with 9 points followed by Luxembourg with 6 and Azerbaijan with 4. The top two teams meet later tonight.