Clinical APOEL hold AaB

Aalborg BK 1-1 APOEL FC Vinicius converted APOEL's first shot on target to earn the Cypriot side a valuable draw against dominant AaB in Denmark.

Vinicius (centre) celebrates his equaliser
Vinicius (centre) celebrates his equaliser ©AFP/Getty Images

• Dominant Aalborg BK lead through Nicolaj Thomsen
• AaB unable to turn further chances into goals
• APOEL FC equalise through Vinicius with only shot on target
• Capacity crowd of 9,663 at Aalborg Stadion
• Return leg in Cyprus next Tuesday

One shot on target was enough for APOEL to take a 1-1 UEFA Champions League play-off first-leg draw from Aalborg.

APOEL took a cautious approach as AaB dominated in Denmark and the home side were soon ahead. Nicklas Helenius, who returned from Aston Villa FC this summer, passed the ball behind APOEL left-back Marios Antoniades into the path of Patrick Kristensen. Finding space on the right, Kristensen cut a pass back through the legs of a visiting defender to Thomsen who showed composure to side-foot into the opposite corner of the net from the edge of the area.

That did not encourage APOEL out of their shells as AaB continued to press. Kristensen in particular was giving Antoniades a torrid time but Urko Pardo in the Cypriot champions' goal was standing firm. He kept the scoreline at 1-0 before the break, and was soon in action again following the interval.

However, what was missing was a finishing touch and that is what APOEL produced at the other end on 54 minutes. From the right Mário Sérgio found Tiago Gomes, who swivelled brilliantly with the ball, laying it into the path of Vinicius who struck it past Nicolai Larsen.

AaB could not restore their advantage and now face an even tougher challenge than compatriots FC København at this stage five years ago, when they travelled to APOEL 1-0 up only to lose 3-1 in Nicosia.