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APOEL aim for famous first

Published: Thursday 22 October 2009, 1.45CET
No Cypriot senior side has ever registered a victory or even managed a draw with opponents from Portugal so, having lost narrowly on Matchday 3, the opportunity is there for APOEL FC to create history against FC Porto.

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Tournament statistics


Goals scored4
Attempts on target13
Attempts off target23
Fouls committed82
Yellow cards12
Red cards0
Published: Thursday 22 October 2009, 1.45CET

APOEL aim for famous first

No Cypriot senior side has ever registered a victory or even managed a draw with opponents from Portugal so, having lost narrowly on Matchday 3, the opportunity is there for APOEL FC to create history against FC Porto.

No Cypriot senior side has ever managed to defeat or even draw with opponents from Portugal so APOEL FC will be hoping to create a slice of history when they take on FC Porto.

• The Portuguese champions had to survive a scare on Matchday 3, Álvaro Pereira's 22nd-minute own goal putting APOEL in front, yet Hulk levelled eleven minutes later before scoring what proved the winner from the penalty spot three minutes after half-time. The win gives Porto a five-point cushion in second place in Group D, with APOEL third.

Match background
• That Estádio do Dragão fixture was the first time Porto had encountered opposition from Cyprus in UEFA club competition.

• APOEL had only previously faced one Portuguese team, going down to a 16-1 defeat at Sporting Clube de Portugal in the 1963/64 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round – still a record loss for any side in UEFA club competition. A 2-0 reverse at home followed.

• The Cypriot club lost 1-0 at home to Chelsea FC on Matchday 2 but in qualifying they won all three of their home games, defeating EB/Streymur (3-0), FK Partizan (2-0) and FC København (3-1).

• However in UEFA competitions proper, APOEL have a poor recent home record. In the UEFA Cups of 2000/01, 2003/04, 2005/06 and 2008/09, home defeats in the first round contributed to their eliminations.

• APOEL did defeat Grazer AK 2-0 in the 2002/03 UEFA Cup first round first leg, winning 3-1 on aggregate, but in the next stage lost 1-0 at home to Hertha BSC Berlin and bowed out 4-0 overall.

• Porto started their seventh consecutive group-stage campaign with a 1-0 defeat at Chelsea, mirroring their first away game in the previous campaign where they lost 4-0 at Arsenal FC. They subsequently remained unbeaten on their travels, winning 2-1 at both FC Dynamo Kyiv and Fenerbahçe SK and drawing 2-2 at Club Atlético de Madrid and Manchester United FC, losing to the latter in the quarter-finals following a 1-0 home defeat.

Team ties
• Three members of the APOEL squad are Portuguese. Nuno Morais started his career with FC Penafiel in Portugal's second division and during a three-year period at Chelsea spent 2005/06 on loan at CS Marítimo. Paulo Jorge began his professional career with SC Braga in 2002 and remained there until joining APOEL this year, while Hélio Pinto was a youth player with SL Benfica. Only Pinto did not face Porto during his time in Portugal.

• APOEL's Brazilian forward Jean Paulista spent seven seasons in Portugal between 1998 and 2005, turning out for SC Farense, Braga, CD Aves, Vitória FC and FC Maia.

• Marcin Żewłakow came on as a 56th-minute substitute for Poland in a 4-0 defeat by Portugal in a 2002 FIFA World Cup group-stage match in Jeonju in the Korea Republic.

• Altin Haxhi played for Albania in a 2-0 loss to Portugal in a 1998 World Cup qualifying tie held at Porto's former Estádio das Antas home.

• Fernando Belluschi was at Olympiacos FC when the Greek club were knocked out of last season's UEFA Champions League by Anorthosis Famagusta FC in the third qualifying round. He scored the winner in the home leg, but his side lost 3-1 on aggregate.

• Now at Anorthosis, former Porto midfielder Ricardo Fernandes was a cult hero at APOEL from 2005 to 2008.

• Daniel Kenedy is another former Porto player who appeared for APOEL, representing the Cypriot side from 2005 to 2006.

Last updated: 27/11/12 15.18CET

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