Trabzonspor AŞ snatched a late winner at Apollon Limassol FC as substitute Yusuf Erdoğan got the decisive goal in the 86th minute to give Mustafa Akçay's side a perfect start to life in Group J.
Group stage debutants Apollon seemed to be set fair when Gaston Sangoy converted a penalty 18 minutes in, but their lead was short-lived as Florent Malouda swiftly equalised. After that, it increasingly appeared as if a draw was on the cards – until Yusuf glided through and slotted in the late winner to leave Trabzonspor level with SS Lazio, who travel to Turkey on matchday two.
It was the hosts who threatened first when Marcos Gullón drove Guie Gneki Abraham's reverse pass over the bar, and they forged ahead on 18 minutes as Sangoy smashed his spot kick down the middle after Souleymane Bamba had brought down Abraham.
The lead lasted just two minutes, though, as Olcan Adın's perfect cross from the right was guided past Bruno Vale by the head of Malouda. The equaliser promptly ushered in a phase of Trabzonspor dominance, yet they failed to create a serious opportunity and Abraham was able to twice go close on the break.
Adrian Mierzejewski then had a free-kick deflected wide for the visitors ahead of the interval, before Malouda drove Paulo Henrique's shot over after the restart. Georgos Merkis had a great chance to restore the home lead but failed to tuck his attempt inside the post when connecting with a Gullón free-kick, and the decisive moment came when Mierzejewski slipped in Yusuf, who guided a first-time finish past the goalkeeper.
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