APOEL's history boys face Lyon deficit
Wednesday, February 15, 2012
Olympique Lyonnais visit Cyprus for the first time seeking a second quarter-final spot in three years but ending APOEL FC's history-making run may be easier said than done.
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APOEL FC welcome Olympique Lyonnais to the GSP Stadium looking to write another page in the history books as they seek to overturn a 1-0 deficit.
• Ivan Jovanović's men have already become the first Cypriot side to reach the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League and now they are bidding to go one step further in the second leg of their last-16 tie. Lyon will have other ideas on their first trip to Cyprus as they target a second quarter-final in three seasons.
• The French side hold a narrow lead following the first leg at Stade de Gerland on 14 February, Alexandre Lacazette's deflected 58th-minute strike giving Lyon the edge.
• APOEL have proved tough opponents in Nicosia in recent times. Although beaten 2-0 by FC Shakhtar Donetsk on matchday six with qualification already assured, APOEL had previously gone nine European home games undefeated – six wins and three draws including 2-1 successes against FC Zenit St Petersburg and FC Porto this season.
• Lyon hit seven goals on their last away day in the competition – the 7-1 dismantling of GNK Dinamo Zagreb in December was their biggest away victory in Europe, and their largest home or away in the UEFA Champions League. They had, however, won none of their six previous European away fixtures, losing four.
• Lyon have experience on their side – they are competing in the round of 16 for the ninth season running. However, after three successive quarter-final appearances between 2004 and 2006 they have fallen at this hurdle in four of the last five campaigns, the only exception 2009/10 when they reached the semi-finals. In addition, they have not won an away game at this stage since 2006.
• Lyon have recorded an aggregate victory in 14 of the 16 UEFA club competition ties in which they won the first leg at home. That includes all five ties in which they earned a 1-0 home first-leg success, most recently against Real Madrid CF at this stage of the 2009/10 competition when they drew the second leg 1-1 in Spain.
• APOEL have already overturned one 1-0 away defeat this season, overcoming Wisła Kraków 3-1 in the second leg of their play-off tie. That is one of only three aggregate successes in the 14 ties where they have lost the away first leg, however, while they have won two and lost two ties when they have been beaten 1-0 in the first match.
• While Lyon have never faced Cypriot opposition before, this is APOEL's second tie against a French team – they went down 3-0 on aggregate to Paris Saint-Germain FC in the 1993/94 UEFA Cup Winners' Cup first round. Jean-Luc Sassus hit the only goal in Nicosia before Paul Le Guen and Xavier Gravelaine inflicted further damage on APOEL in Paris.
• Aílton came off the bench to score for FC København in a 3-1 defeat by Olympique de Marseille in the round of 32 of the 2009/10 UEFA Europa League – a result that confirmed a 6-2 aggregate loss. As a substitute for FCK in the 2008/09 group stage he saw Bafétimbi Gomis hit AS Saint-Étienne's opening goal in a 3-1 loss to Les Verts in Copenhagen.
• Jimmy Briand and Yoann Gourcuff helped France beat Nuno Morais's Portugal in a group match at the 2006 UEFA European Under-21 Championship final tournament.
• Briand was a scorer for France in a 2-0 win against Athos Solomou's Cyprus in a European U21 Championship qualifier in October 2005.
• Constantinos Charalambides and Marios Ilia suffered a 4-0 defeat in France with the Cyprus national team in a World Cup qualifier in October 2005. Along with Marinos Satsias they also featured in the earlier 2-0 home reverse in October 2004. Satsias is a veteran of an even heavier loss to Les Bleus – 5-0 at the Stade de France in UEFA EURO 2004 qualifying.
• Lisandro helped FC Porto record three Portuguese Liga victories against Kaká's A. Académica de Coimbra between 2006 and 2008.