Trabzonspor AŞ sealed their place in the last 32 of the UEFA Europa League and maintained their unbeaten record in Group J after Olcan Adın's hat-trick helped the Turkish side to a 4-2 victory against Apollon Limassol FC, whose hopes of the reaching the knockout stage ended with defeat.
Chances were few in the early exchanges but the hosts were clinical once they eventually got going, as Olcan and Soner Aydoğdu scored in quick succession midway through the first half. Olcan increased the lead in the 61st minute before Guie Gneki Abraham netted for the visitors. An 80th-minute penalty from Abraham's fellow substitute Gaston Sangoy then threatened a comeback, until Olcan rounded off his treble with a fine free-kick.
Apollon struggled to live with Trabzonspor's slick passing from the off, as Mustafa Akçay's team dominated the first half. Florent Malouda looked bright on the left, and it was the former French international who supplied the cross for Olcan to head in the opener. The Süper Lig club doubled their advantage before Apollon had a moment to recover their breath, registering two minutes later as Soner bundled the ball in.
Olcan extended the gap stilll further by firing into the roof of the net on 61 minutes – which, bizarrely, sparked Apollon in to life. Abraham's 68th-minute header spurred the Cypriot outfit on, and the same player won a penalty 12 minutes later which was converted by Sangoy to make the hosts sweat. Olcan eased their nerves three minutes later, however, by striking a brilliant set piece.
Trabzonspor top Group J by two points and will battle SS Lazio for pole position when the sides meet on the final matchday. The Italian outfit beat Legia Warszawa 2-0 today.
|1||Onur Kıvrak (GK) (C)||23||Hidi (GK)|
|89||Zeki Ayvaz (GK)||31||Fani (GK)|
|Mustafa Akçay (TUR)||Christakis Christoforou (CYP)|
|Manuel Gräfe (GER)|
|B||Chornomorets Odesa||Dinamo Zagreb|