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UEFA Champions League

  • March 7, 2012
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Neo GSP, Nicosía (Levkosía)
  • Referee: Alberto Undiano Mallenco
  • • Attendance: 18500

Aggregate 1 - 1, APOEL win 4 - 3 on penalties

APOEL 1-0 Olympique Lyonnais (Agg 1-1, 4-3 on penalties): Cypriots hold nerve to claim historic victory after Manduca's goal forces spot kicks

Ivan Jovanovic’s men have progressed to the quarterfinals of the Champions League thanks to a brave victory over the Ligue 1 outfit

APOEL’s memorable Champions League run continued after it defeated Olympique Lyonnais 1-0 in Cyprus before moving through 4-3 on penalty kicks.

It was the Cypriots who scored the only goal of the match after only seven minutes when Manduca, who was dismissed late in extra time, sent the packed home support into raptures. Ivan Jovanovic’s side was not merely a defensive spectator thereafter.

Although it was the away team who did much of the pressing, the French side crashes out.

APOEL started this encounter with a stance far removed from its usual dour, defensive approach, and within 10 minutes it had a reward, getting level on aggregate. Constantinos Charalambides took advantage of very sloppy defending from the French, and after Anthony Reveillere failed miserably to deal with the cross, Manduca converted from close range.

Lyon steadied itself and would enjoy the better of the first half, though it rarely seriously tested Dionisis Chiotis. The goalkeeper’s misjudgement of an Ederson cross forced him to produce a fine stretching save, and minutes later Michel Bastos would head over after Lisandro had finally got behind the home defense.

The best chance for the guests, though, came seven minutes before the break, when the Brazilian’s wicked center was met by the head of Ederson, whose effort glanced inches wide.

Despite its attacking play, Lyon looked lethargic at the back and could on more than one occasion have been caught. Charalambides would hit the side netting when well placed, and just before the interval Esteban Solari had a shot kicked clear by Hugo Lloris.

Predictably, the second half was a nervy affair, with tensions running high from the outset, when the referee overlooked a physical clash between Cris and Marcelo Oliveira. It was the Cypriots who made the better impression early on, though it was Aly Cissokho who went closest to beating Lloris as his header skimmed his own bar.

With only 20 minutes remaining, Charalambides made another deadly burst down the right channel, but his dangerous low cross was touched wide by Esteban Solari, who perhaps should have scored.

Lisandro went closest for Remi Garde’s men, as he was left free at the far post to aim a header towards the corner of the net, though Chiotis got a fingertip to turn the effort wide.

Extra time was to provide half an hour of extreme tension, with Paulo Jorge nearly diverting a Kallstrom free-kick into his own net soon after the resumption. Once more chances were limited, with neither side over-committing forward, though it was the French outfit that offered the greater threat as its hosts tired.

Indeed, this was the primary cause of Manduca's second yellow card, which saw him dismissed with 115 minutes on the clock.

Even without its talisman, APOEL progressed to the quarterfinals, with Michel Bastos missing the crucial Lyon kick in the shootout, Chiotis was the hero as he made blocks from the wide player and also from Lacazette, earning hero status and ensuring the APOEL story continues unabated.

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