A second-half strike by Yiannis Okkas earned Cyprus a narrow victory over San Marino in Serravalle on Wednesday night.
Okkas converted a corner early in the second half to move Cyprus level on points with Wales in UEFA EURO 2008™ qualifying Group D, while San Marino remain firmly rooted to the bottom of the pool after suffering their seventh defeat in as many matches.
The first half was an open affair with numerous chances for both sides but neither had the cutting edge to take the lead. Efstathios Aloneftis shot straight at goalkeeper Aldo Simoncini with a 25-metre free-kick before Antonis Georgallides was forced to tip over Andy Selva's long-range effort at the other end. Fabio Bollini also volleyed over and Yiasoumi Yiasoumis headed wide as chances were traded.
Cyprus broke the deadlock seven minutes after the resumption when San Marino failed to deal with Aloneftis’s inswinging corner from the right and Okkas drilled Yiasoumis’s flick-on past Simoncini from five metres. Selva spurned two further chances to equalise when firing over and then wide in the last ten minutes, while Lambros Lambrou was awry with his final attempt as the match became stretched.