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Rediff.com  » Sports » APOEL stun Europe and Lyon

APOEL stun Europe and Lyon

March 08, 2012 08:14 IST

APOEL Nicosia again ripped the Champions League record books to shreds and kicked off an island party by becoming the first Cypriot team to make the last eight of any European competition on Wednesday.

A 4-3 win on penalties over Olympique Lyon after a deserved 1-0 home victory in their last-16 second leg followed the shock achievement of finishing top of their qualifying group in Europe's elite club competition.

Tiny Cyprus, a minnow in European football terms, burst into celebrations as thousands of APOEL supporters poured into the streets of Nicosia after the nail-biting ending.

"This is a fantastic result. The team deserved this. We got to where we wanted, with the eight best teams in Europe. Now we feel we can move forward, and deal with any team that comes," APOEL chairman Phivos Erotocritou told reporters.

Lyon's Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos had their spot-kicks confidently saved by Dionisios Chiotis, who was also unlucky that Lisandro Lopez's penalty went in off his back.

APOEL scored all four of their spot-kicks with aplomb to send their team mates and fervent fans into delirium in the tight GSP Stadium, with Chiotis mobbed on the pitch.

Gustavo Manduca, sent off in extra time for a second booking, had earlier netted at the far post on nine minutes after Constantinos Charalambides had slid in a cross as APOEL levelled the aggregate scores after losing the first leg 1-0.

Source:
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