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APOEL repel Partizan rally

Published: Wednesday 5 August 2009, 23.30CET
FK Partizan 1-0 APOEL FC (agg: 1-2)
The Cypriot side stood firm for 87 minutes to claim a famous progression after Almani Moreira had tightened the tie in Serbia.
by Aleksandar Bosković
from Belgrade
APOEL repel Partizan rally
Marcin Żewłakow's miss did not prove costly for APOEL ©empics
Published: Wednesday 5 August 2009, 23.30CET

APOEL repel Partizan rally

FK Partizan 1-0 APOEL FC (agg: 1-2)
The Cypriot side stood firm for 87 minutes to claim a famous progression after Almani Moreira had tightened the tie in Serbia.

APOEL FC stood firm for 87 minutes to claim a famous victory and a place in the UEFA Champions League play-off round after a third-minute strike by Almani Moreira had hauled Serbian champions FK Partizan within one goal of taking the tie to extra time.

Strong support
The Cypriot titleholders arrived from Nicosia with a 2-0 success under their belts from the first leg but that advantage appeared in danger of being wiped out early on when Moreira converted Goran Gavrančić's pass from close range. Yet despite the fervent support of 25,000 Partizan fans the visitors held on, even after a late red card for Joost Broerse.

Żewłakow wayward
Broerse had come closest to calming the nerves in Ivan Jovanović's ranks, first with an opening-minute free-kick, then when he latched on to Nenad Mirosavljević's pass just shy of the half-hour mark only to shoot wide of goal with goalkeeper Mladen Božović rooted to the spot. An even better opportunity was passed up on the stroke of the interval when a mistake by Gavrančić let in first-leg goalscorer Marcin Żewłakow but he failed to test Božović in a one-on-one situation.

Second-half chances
Partizan reclaimed the initiative after the restart but Moreira failed to claim a second goal when sending a headed effort wide. With 89 minutes on the clock, Broerse was sent off after collecting a second yellow card for a foul on Lamine Diarra but it was too late for Partizan to take advantage. Radosav Petrović headed their last effort wide from ten metres and APOEL were able to celebrate a second notable victory over Serbian opposition in as many years, having eliminated FK Crvena Zvezda in last season's UEFA Cup second qualifying round.

Last updated: 06/08/09 0.30CET

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