Cyprus’s Anorthosis upsets Turkey’s Trabzonspor, 3-1

Playing amid tight security measures due to the game’s political sensitivity, Cypriot champions Anorthosis Famagusta defeated Turkish runner-up Trabzonspor 3-1 Tuesday night in the first leg of a second-round Champions League qualifier in Nicosia. The two sides meet again next week for the return leg in Trabzon, Turkey. It was the first time since Turkey invaded Cyprus in 1974 that teams from the two countries faced each other in a senior UEFA competition, although Cypriot and Turkish sides have met in other sports, including basketball, handball and tennis. Hailing from the occupied town of Famagusta, Anorthosis now plays its home games further south in Larnaca. But Tuesday’s encounter was played in Nicosia as no other stadium in Cyprus was up to UEFA standards. Anorthosis opened the scoring after 24 minutes, but Trabzonspor, playing with a man less, leveled late in the game in the 75th minute. Anorthosis responded with two late goals, in the 82nd and 89th minutes, to establish a two-goal lead ahead of next week’s second leg. An estimated 2,000 Turkish Cypriots were among the game’s 18,000 attendants. No incidents were reported.

Subscribe to our Newsletters

Enter your information below to receive our weekly newsletters with the latest insights, opinion pieces and current events straight to your inbox.

By signing up you are agreeing to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.