APOEL Nicosia make Champions League breakthroughDecember 2nd, 2011 - 6:59 pm ICT by IANS
Nicosia (Cyprus), Dec 2 (IANS) APOEL Nicosia made history by becoming the first team from Cyprus to reach the pre-quarterfinals in the UEFA Champions League.
APOEL’s goalless draw at Zenit St. Petersburg proved enough for a place in the knockout stages as they emerged from a pool which also included experienced European campaigners FC Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk.
Nicosia topped Group G of the elite Euopean tournament, followed by Zenit St. Petersburg, Porto and Shakhtar. The last round of matches will be APOEL vs Shakhtar and Zenit against Porto.
“I feel proud, my club feels proud, and the whole country also feels proud of the victory,” Erotokritou told Xinhua.
Erotokritou added that the Cypriot President had sent a letter to congratulate the team after APOEL qualified for the second stage of the Champions League.
“We want to win the last match which will be held in Nicosia on Dec 6 because it will put us in better position in the next round,” Erotokritou said.
He said APOEL is not well known in the world stage compared to other teams like Porto which have won the Champions League title twice.
“During the last five matches in Group G, our players played their best, the victory has brought us to the limelight,” he said.
APOEL was founded in 1926. It participated in the Champions League for the first time in 2009-10 season, but finished at the bottom of the group.
“This is our second time in the Champions League. We got many experiences during our participation in the League last time, and our financial situation improved a lot which gave us the opportunity to buy good foreign players,” Erotokritou said.
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Tags: apoel, breakthrough, campaigners, elite, financial situation, knockout stages, last match, last time, limelight, nicosia cyprus, porto, quarterfinals, second stage, second time, shakhtar donetsk, uefa champions league, victory, world stage, xinhua, zenit st petersburg