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Makridis ends Cyprus wait for qualifying win

Published: Tuesday 11 September 2012, 21.30CET
Cyprus 1-0 Iceland
Constantinos Makridis's second-half goal earned Cyprus their first competitive victory since October 2009, Solvi Geir Jonsson dismissed for Iceland late on.
Makridis ends Cyprus wait for qualifying win
Constantinos Makridis is mobbed by his Cyprus team-mates ©Getty Images
Published: Tuesday 11 September 2012, 21.30CET

Makridis ends Cyprus wait for qualifying win

Cyprus 1-0 Iceland
Constantinos Makridis's second-half goal earned Cyprus their first competitive victory since October 2009, Solvi Geir Jonsson dismissed for Iceland late on.

Constantinos Makridis scored the only goal as Cyprus recorded their first competitive victory in almost three years, defeating Iceland in their second 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Makridis's 57th-minute shot not only got Cyprus off the mark in Group E following their defeat by Albania on Friday, but also ended the island's barren run in qualifying stretching back to a 4-1 victory against Bulgaria in October 2009.

It was Iceland, though, who fashioned the first chance. Gylfi Sigurdsson found Birkir Bjarnason in the penalty area but the forward's goal-bound strike was blocked by Dosa Júnior. From then on, however, it was Cyprus who posed the greater threat, with captain Michalis Konstantinou, Makridis, Dimitris Christofi and Athos Solomou all being denied by Hannes Halldórsson before half-time.

Nikos Nioplias's side continued to dominate after the break and spurned further chances through Konstantinou before they finally made the breakthrough. Christofi burst free on the right and pulled a pass back for Makridis, who struck a sweet shot into Halldórsson's bottom-right corner.

Iceland's response was instant, substitute Alfred Finnbogason rattling the crossbar with a strike from outside the penalty area. That was the closest the visitors came in the second half, when Cyprus could have added to their lead, Solomou missing the hosts' best opportunity when firing straight at Finnbogason after being fed by Vincent Laban.

Iceland's hopes of salvaging a point all but disappeared three minutes from time with the dismissal of Solvi Geir Jonsson for a late challenge on Makridis.

Last updated: 11/09/12 23.05CET

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