MFK Košice forward Pavol Jurčo hit a hat-trick to help Slovakia to their first victory in Group 7 in qualifying for the 2009 UEFA European Under-21 Championship.
The victory in Senec was all the more impressive given the fact the home side had to play for over an hour with ten men following the dismissal of forward Tomáš Majtán in the 25th minute. All the goals came after the break with Jurčo opening the scoring on 58 minutes. Menelaos Aristidou levelled from a corner for Cyprus with 18 minutes to play before Slovakia struck three times late on to claim victory.
Jurčo put Slovakia, who had lost 4-2 to Belgium last Friday, back in front when he rounded the goalkeeper and shot into the empty net with seven minutes remaining and three minutes later he completed his hat-trick from the penalty spot. FC Artmedia Petržalka forward Juraj Piroška added the fourth late on with a fine solo effort. A disappointing night for Cyprus was compounded in the final minute when Adamos Efstathiou was sent off.
"Majtán's dismissal actually helped us," Slovakia coach Jozef Barmoš said. "After that we concentrated on counterattacks and were able to win." The result takes Slovakia up to second in Group 7 after four matches, three points behind leaders Austria. Cyprus in fourth have three points from three games.