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Cyprus forge on as Mytidis treble sinks Andorra

Andorra 1-3 Cyprus
Nestor Mytidis scored a hat-trick as the visitors recovered from an early own goal to boost hopes of grabbing a Group B qualification spot.

Highlights: Andorra 1-3 Cyprus

Nestor Mytidis scores treble as Cyprus come from behind to win
Dossa Júnior's early own goal puts Andorra ahead
Cypriot defender also misses penalty but Mytidis treble secures the spoils
Victors level on points with third-placed Israel who possess the play-off spot
Next games: Israel v Andorra, Cyprus v Wales (3 September)

Nestor Mytidis struck a clinical hat-trick as Cyprus came from behind to see off Andorra and boost their hopes of claiming a European Qualifiers Group B qualification spot.

Thanks to Israel's defeat in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Charalampos Christodoulou's men are now level with the third-placed side on nine points, though a shock looked on the cards when an own goal put them behind early on at the Estadi Nacional. However, Mytidis converted three chances with a minimum of fuss to leave Cyprus well in the mix for a qualifying berth with four games to go.

Having yet to avoid defeat in 45 UEFA European Championship matches, Andorra got the perfect start in their bid to end that sequence. In just the second minute a ball was looped over the Cypriot defence and brought down by Aaron Sanchez, only for Dossa Júnior to send it past his own keeper and into the net as he rushed back to cover.

But the visitors were swiftly level courtesy of a superb passing move in which Dimitris Christofi provided the penultimate touch for partner Mytidis to slide under Ferran Pol.

The equaliser could have caused Andorra – a team who had lost 49 competitive fixtures in a row – to crumble but that was not the case. Josep Ayala crashed a spectacular volley narrowly wide while Antonis Giorgallides had to be at his best to keep out Cristian Martínez's near-post shot. Cypriot pressure late in the half eventually paid dividends as Mytidis grabbed his second with a thumping header from George Efrem's wicked left-side corner.

Dossa Júnior squandered the opportunity to double Cyprus's advantage six minutes after the restart, seeing his low penalty saved as Pol plunged to his left, but any possibility of an Andorran fightback was quickly erased. Efrem had scored the first-ever Cypriot international hat-trick in the home game against the same Pyrenean opposition in November and Mytidis matched him in the 53rd minute, turning in Christofi's scuffed effort from close range.