APOEL flies Greek flag in the Champions League

The fairy tale continues for APOEL Nicosia in Europe as the Cinderella of the Champions League eliminated Lyon in the penalty shootout and reached the last eight of the competition on Wednesday.

Greek goalkeeper Sakis Chiotis saved two kicks in the shootout to send the Cypriot champion to the quarterfinals of the competition, an unprecedented feat for any team from the island.

Former AEK Athens player Gustavo Manduca scored in the ninth minute at Nicosia?s GSP stadium to cancel out Lyon?s 1-0 victory in the first leg of the round-of-16 tie in France.

The team of former Iraklis coach Ivan Jovanovic held on to its lead throughout the 90 minutes as well as the extra-time, despite having to play from the 113th minute with a man less due to the second yellow card shown to Brazilian Manduca.

The capacity crowd at the 25,000-seater stadium held its collective breath as the two teams went to penalties: Chiotis dived twice to his left to save the shots by Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos and give APOEL a 4-3 win in the shootout as the Cypriot team made no mistakes from the spot.

?We represent Cypriot Greeks, Cypriot soccer and of course Greece, as above all we are a Greek team,? APOEL spokesman Panikos Hatziliassis told Cypriot state radio RIK after the end of the game.

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