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Wisła hoping for seven up at APOEL's expense

Published: Thursday 18 August 2011, 8.50CET
Having lost in the final qualifying round six times, Wisła Kraków hope to shed their tag as the nearly men of the UEFA Champions League when they visit APOEL FC defending a 1-0 lead.
Wisła hoping for seven up at APOEL's expense
Radosław Sobolewski of Wisła (left) fights for a ball with APOEL's Hélio Pinto during the first leg ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics


Goals scored11
Attempts on target36
Attempts off target34
Fouls committed72
Yellow cards9
Red cards0
Published: Thursday 18 August 2011, 8.50CET

Wisła hoping for seven up at APOEL's expense

Having lost in the final qualifying round six times, Wisła Kraków hope to shed their tag as the nearly men of the UEFA Champions League when they visit APOEL FC defending a 1-0 lead.

Having never previously progressed beyond the third qualifying round of the UEFA Champions League, Wisła Kraków hope to finally make their group stage debut this season, but must first find a way past miserly APOEL FC.

• The Polish side eked out the narrowest of first-leg leads thanks to Patryk Małecki's 71st-minute goal.

Previous meetings
• The sides had never met in UEFA competition before the first leg while APOEL had not faced Polish opposition.

• Wisła's only previous experience of Cypriot opposition prior to the first leg came against AC Omonia in the 2003/04 UEFA Champions League second qualifying rounds, when they won 5-2 at home and drew 2-2 away.

• Maciej Żurawski, who scored twice in both legs, played for Omonia in  2009/10, helping them to the Cypriot title.

Match background
• Wisła, European Cup quarter-finalists in 1978/79, have won all five of their games in Europe this season.

• Before their first-leg loss APOEL were unbeaten in their last five European games since a 1-0 loss at Getafe CF in the first leg of last season's UEFA Europa League play-offs. They did not concede a goal in their first four European outings this season.

• APOEL have gone six matches without a home defeat in Europe, since a 1-0 loss to FC Porto in their penultimate UEFA Champions League group stage game in 2009/10.

• Wisla have won three of their last four European away games, the one exception being their 3-2 loss at Qarabağ FK in last term's third qualifying round second leg.

• Polish champions Wisła have yet to feature in the UEFA Champions League group stage, though they did appear in the UEFA Cup group stage in 2006/07.

• This is the seventh time Wisła have featured in UEFA Champions League qualifying. In each of their six previous campaigns they bowed out in the third qualifying round, when this represented the last hurdle before the group stage, against some daunting opposition (FC Barcelona in 2001/02 and 2008/09, and Real Madrid CF in 2004/05).

• This season's victories over Skonto FC (agg: 3-0) and PFC Litex Lovech (agg: 5-2) were the first time Wisła had won successive qualifying round games.

• APOEL made their only UEFA Champions League group stage appearance in 2009/10, the season after Anorthosis Famagusta FC became the first Cypriot side to reach that stage. Under Ivan Jovanović, their coach since 2008, APOEL finished bottom of their section but twice held Club Atlético de Madrid and earned a 2-2 draw at Chelsea FC. They lost their other three games by one-goal margins.

• APOEL made it from the first to the third qualifying round in 2002/03, but lost 4-2 on aggregate to AEK Athens FC. AC Sparta Praha eliminated them in the second qualifying round (agg: 3-4) in 2004/05, and BATE overran them (agg: 0-5) in the first qualifying round in 2007/08.

• In 2009/10 they went from the second qualifying round to the group stage, beating EB/Streymur (agg: 5-0), FK Partizan (agg: 2-1) and, in the play-offs, FC København (agg: 3-2).

• APOEL passed through this season's second and third qualifying rounds without conceding, beating KS Skënderbeu (agg: 6-0) and ŠK Slovan Bratislava (agg: 2-0). They are unbeaten in five UEFA Champions League qualifying ties.

Team ties
• Now at GKS Bełchatów, midfielder Kamil Kosowski represented both clubs, playing for Wisła from 1999-2003 and again in 2007 and winning three Polish league titles. He represented APOEL from 2008-10 and was among the scorers as they beat FCK in the play-offs to reach the 2009/10 UEFA Champions League group stage. Fellow Poles Marcin Żewłakow and Adrian Sikora also featured in APOEL's maiden group stage campaign.

• Bartłomiej Jamróz was at Wisla from 1992 to 1994 and at APOEL in 2005/06.

• Other Polish players to represent APOEL are Wojciech Kowalczyk – who was the first in 2003/04 – Andrzej Kryszałowicz and Jarosław Popiela.

• Former Poland coach Jerzy Engel had spells in charge of both sides. He oversaw Wisła's 5-4 aggregate loss to Panathinaikos FC in the 2005/06 third qualifying round, then moved on to take charge of APOEL, leading them to the Cypriot Cup that same season. APOEL's only other Polish coach was Jacek Gmoch who had a spell with the Cypriot club from 1991-93.

Last updated: 18/08/11 23.50CETła+face+apoel+challenge