Omonia off to fine start

AC Omonia 3-0 FK Renova
The visitors were a goal behind and down to ten men within seven minutes as Omonia secured a comfortable first-leg victory in Nicosia.

Michalis Konstantinou scored twice for Omonia
Michalis Konstantinou scored twice for Omonia ©Getty Images

AC Omonia's bid to become the third straight Cypriot team to reach the UEFA Champions League group stage is off to a good start with a dominant second qualifying round first-leg win against FK Renova.

By the 28-minute mark the visitors were two goals behind and down to ten men and Michalis Konstantinou, who had opened the scoring with a penalty, added Omonia's third just past the hour. Renova now have a difficult task to turn the tie in Skopje next Tuesday.

The writing was on the wall in the sixth minute when Darko Ignjatovski fouled Konstantinou in the box and was sent off. Konstantinou stepped up to send Armend Elezi the wrong way from the spot, and in the 16th minute he nearly made it 2-0 but his header was ruled out for offside.

However Omonia soon had their second goal. Leandro won the ball on the left and raced into the area before laying off to Davidson Morais, who beat Elezi with a powerful srike into the keeper's top left-hand corner. Just before the break Elezi tipped over Efstathios Aloneftis's shot while at the other end Faruk Statovci's headed Renova's sole chance wide from point-blank range.

It was 3-0 in the 62nd minute as Konstantinou outjumped Muarem Bajrami to head in Leandro's cross. Omonia, aiming to follow Αnorthosis Famagusta FC and APOEL FC into the UEFA Champions League proper, came close to adding a fourth several times, including in the closing moments when Konstantinos Makridis crossed and substitute Georgios Efrem struck the crossbar with a diving header.