Ten-man AEL Limassol FC held firm against FK Partizan to earn their first away win in UEFA competition and secure a place in the UEFA Champions League play-offs.
Dosa Júnior had already put AEL into the lead by the time Jorge Lourenço was sent off after 28 minutes. Nevertheless, the goal proved enough for Charalampos Christodoulou's charges, who recorded a second successive 1-0 win against their Serbian opponents.
Driven on by the vocal home fans, Partizan started on the front foot, but the organised, methodical counterattacks of AEL brought the visitors a surprise 23rd-minute lead. Luciano Bebê's corner found its way to Dosa Júnior via Lourenço, and Junior tucked the ball in from close range.
Five minutes later AEL's joy turned to despair as Lourenço, booked earlier on, was shown his second yellow card. Partizan could not make their numerical advantage count, however, and Stefan Babović steered the hosts' only real first-half chance wide when one-on-one with goalkeeper Matias Degras.
A stubborn, defensive AEL successfully stifled the Partizan attack in a second half that offered little in the way of goalmouth action. AEL had the best chance to score, Partizan No1 Vladimir Stojković diving to save at the feet of substitute Chris Dickson late on.
AEL edge closer to replicating APOEL FC's feat in reaching the UEFA Champions League group stage, while eliminated Partizan must make do with a place in the UEFA Europa League play-offs.
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