By John Leonidou at GSP stadium
Anorthosis Famagusta FC achieved one of the greatest results in Cypriot footballing history by overturning Turkish Superleague runners-up Trabzonspor in the home leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.
The Cypriot side's daunting task was made a little easier by the dismissal of Trabzonspor forward Ibrahima Yattara on the stroke of half-time, but goals from Nikos Nikolaou, Nikos Frousos and Klimenti Tsitaishvili made it a night to remember for the Anorthosis fans. They may even have one eye on Friday's third qualifying round draw, although Fatih Tekke's away goal for the Turkish side could prove crucial.
A crowd of 14,613 saw the visitors make the brighter start, Mehmet Yilmaz squandering the best of three Trabzonspor chances inside the opening 20 minutes when he sent his attempted lob over the home team's crossbar.
At the other end, Christos Maragos shot narrowly over as Anorthosis came into the game. Their breakthrough came on 24 minutes when player-coach Timur Ketsbaia pulled the ball back for Tsitaishvili, whose shot ricocheted off a Trabzonspor defender and allowed Cyprus defender Nikolaou to crash in the opener.
Leonidas Kampantais almost stretched the home side's lead but saw his 34th-minute effort cleared off the line, then the visitors were reduced to ten men, Yattara shown the red card after collecting his second booking of the evening.
Anorthosis dominated after the interval, with Tsitaishvili spurning no fewer than four good opportunities - and he was made to pay on 75 minutes when substitute Fatih Tekke equalised. The half-fit Turkey striker rose surprisingly well to head in Miroslav Smicoviak's corner.
The goal lifted the Turkish side's fans, but their celebrations were short-lived as on 83 minutes another substitute, Frousos, headed beyond Jefferson de Oliveira Galvao to make it 2-1. The Brazilian goalkeeper was left helpless again before the final whistle when Frousos fed Tsitaishvili to make it 3-1 and hand the Cypriot champions a healthy lead ahead of next Wednesday's return match in Turkey.
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