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Zürich zeal ends Apollon's hopes

FC Zürich 3-1 Apollon Limassol FC
Two Yassine Chikhaoui penalties helped Zürich recover from 1-0 down to win and keep their last-32 hopes alive at Apollon's expense.

Yassine Chikhaoui converts from the spot
Yassine Chikhaoui converts from the spot ©AFP/Getty Images

Zürich can qualify with a win at Mönchengladbach on matchday six
Defeat ends Apollon's hopes of Group A qualification
Farley puts Apollon ahead before Berat Djimsiti equalises
Two Yassine Chikhaoui spot kicks seal victory for the home side
Next games: Mönchengladbach v Zürich, Apollon v Villarreal (11 December)

FC Zürich still have UEFA Europa League qualification in their own hands after ending Apollon Limassol FC's own ambitions of finishing in the top two in Group A.

The visitors opened the scoring with a brilliant effort from Farley but the Swiss side drew level through Berat Djimsiti. Yassine Chikhaoui's penalty made it 2-1 before the break and a second spot kick before the hour wrapped up the points.

Farley made the breakthrough in the 23rd minute, curling in from outside the box after Zürich failed to clear their lines. It was the Brazilian's first goal in the competition and nine minutes later Djimsiti matched that feat in style. Davide Chiumiento flicked Marco Schönbächler's pass into the defender's path and he calmly finished from close range.

Suddenly it was all Zürich. Oliver Buff went close, and on 39 minutes Bruno Vale's outstretched leg brought down Schönbächler in the area. Chikhaoui stepped up to fire in the resulting penalty, despite the best efforts of the goalkeeper to redeem himself.

The Tunisian did it again in the second half to give Zürich breathing space after he was impeded by Hugo Lopez. Vale again guessed correctly but once more failed to keep it out. David Da Costa's save from Bertrand Robert prevented Apollon halving the deficit, while Chikhaoui could have completed his hat-trick – the damage had already been done, though.