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Awesome Anorthosis see off Olympiacos

Published: Thursday 14 August 2008, 0.50CET
Anorthosis Famagusta FC 3-0 Olympiacos CFP
Anorthosis are close to becoming the first Cypriot team to reach the group stage after a sensational showing.
by John Leonidou
Awesome Anorthosis see off Olympiacos
Lukasz Sosin scored the second goal for Anorthosis ©Getty Images
Published: Thursday 14 August 2008, 0.50CET

Awesome Anorthosis see off Olympiacos

Anorthosis Famagusta FC 3-0 Olympiacos CFP
Anorthosis are close to becoming the first Cypriot team to reach the group stage after a sensational showing.

Anorthosis Famagusta FC are just one game away from becoming the first Cypriot team to qualify for the UEFA Champions League group stage after producing a dominant display in Larnaca to stun Greek champions Olympiacos CFP.

Dominant display
Temuri Ketsbaia's side had overcome SK Rapid Wien 3-0 in the first leg of their second qualifying round tie, although a repeat looked unlikely against opponents who reached the first knockout round of last season's competition. Vasilis Torosidis put them in front with an early own goal, however, and Łukasz Sosin swiftly doubled the league. Konstantinos Mitroglou then spurned a golden chance to bring the visitors back into the match, missing a late penalty, and Vincent Laban added a third in the closing stages to leave Olympiacos with it all to do in Athens on 27 August.

Early double
Anorthosis began strongly and were rewarded within five minutes, Polish striker Sosin skipping past Avraam Papadopoulos and whipping in a clever
cross which Torosidis turned into his own net under pressure from Laban. Olympiacos' problems went from bad to worse 14 minutes later when Cédric Bardon was given too much room on the right and delivered an accurate cross for Sosin to head decisively past Antonis Nikopolidis.

Olympiacos fight back
Sosin went close again with another header minutes later, but that marked the turning point as Olympiacos – who withdrew Nikopolidis at half-time, Pavel Kovác coming on – began to press forward as they sought to halve the deficit. Arian Beqaj saved from Darko Kovačević at close range and Ieroklis Stoltidis also threatened, skipping two defenders only to put his shot wide with just Beqaj to beat.

Laban fortune
That pressure looked to have paid off nine minutes from time as a mistake from Paulo Costa led to a swift Olympiacos counterattack which Beqaj brought to an abrupt end by bringing down Luciano Galletti. The goalkeeper was spared as substitute Mitroglou's kick came off the right-hand post. Instead, a third goal came at the other end with three minutes left as Anorthosis broke and Ioannis Skopelitis played in Laban, who unleashed a shot that deflected into the corner of Kovác's net to crown a sensational night for Anorthosis.

Last updated: 14/08/08 10.31CET

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