David Vs. Goliath Of The Champions League

Giants vs. the Giant Killers. That’s how you would drub Tuesday’s Champions League clash between Real Madrid and APOEL Nicosia at the GSP Stadium.

David vs. Goliath of the Champions League

David vs. Goliath of the Champions League

APOEL Nicosia was a name unheard of before this season’s Champions League qualifying stages began.  After two difficult qualifying rounds, few would have put their money on APOEL to survive in a group consisting of Porto, Shakhtar Donestsk and Zenit St. Petersburg. Although not the toughest group in living memory, it is always a difficult task when you have Ukraine and Russia on your travel calendar and the Estadio Dragao is always a tough place to visit.

But with 9 points and a higher goal difference, APOEL topped Group G ahead of Zenit and faced a tough clash against Lyon in the Round of 16. Even Nicosia’s biggest supporters would have felt that was the end of their Champions League journey.

After a tight first leg at the Stede Gerland where they conceded only 1 goal, Jovanovic’s boys knew that they were in with a chance at home. An early goal was all they needed!! Manduca’s ninth minute strike put Nicosia level on aggregate and they defended stubbornly to take the match into extra time and eventually penalties. Dionisios Chiotis was then the hero as he kept out two spot kicks to send APOEL into the quarterfinals thus making APOEL Cyprus’ first ever nomination in the Quarterfinals.

APOEL knew that their biggest test awaited them as they were picked to play Real Madrid in the final 8. The Spanish League leaders come to Cyprus knowing that they are in for anything but a stroll in Cyprus. The Cypriots have won five of their seven games at home this season thus making the GSP Stadium a fortress.

Real Madrid have a near perfect record in Europe this season having won seven of their eight games, their only stumble coming in Russia at CSKA Moscow with Ronaldo having registered five goals in his last four European encounters.

With a record signing fee costing only £850,000 that would put even the reserve team of Madrid to shame, Jovanovic knows that it would be his biggest test keeping the trio of Ronaldo, Higuain and Benzema at bay. Having conceded only six goals so far and having scored the same number, APOEL are a team that looks to score on the counter and Cypriots know that an advantage at home would give them utmost confidence before the return leg at the Bernebau.

Jose Mourinho has the experience of taking his team to Cyprus where his Inter drew 3-3 against Anorthosis Famagusta in 2008 while Ronaldo has also earlier 2 goals at the GSP Stadium during Portugal 4-0 victory over Cyprus in a Euro 2012 qualifier. But the Galacticos know that they will be greeted by an hostile sea of Orange on Tuesday as APOEL look to down the Goliaths of Europe.

Tags: , , ,

Monish Menon

Author:

Hi, I am Monish Menon from Hyderabad and currently working at Franklin Templeton Investments as a Compliance Business Analyst. Sport has always been my passion since I was a kid and I invest all my non-existent free time by watching, playing, writing and analyzing various sporting events across the world. Apart from being a diehard Manchester United fan and a Ferrari supporter, I believe that Roger Federer is still the best tennis player and Sachin Tendulkar is God. I play club cricket and I also am a part of my organization’s cricket and football squad. Being such a sports fanatic, writing about it is something that came naturally to me and I am glad that I got an opportunity through thesportsmirror.com to share my thoughts with the rest of the world. For other articles written by me, you can visit my blog at www.monishmenon.wordpress.com


Warning: file_get_contents(https://graph.facebook.com/?ids=http://www.thesportsmirror.com/2012/03/david-vs-goliath-of-the-champions-league/): failed to open stream: HTTP request failed! HTTP/1.1 403 Forbidden in /home4/thesport/public_html/wp-content/themes/tsm/single.php on line 65

Cricket

Professional Management Group signs up Shikhar Dhawan for 3 years

Professional Management Group signs up Shikhar Dhawan for 3 years

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on April 30th, 2016

Mumbai, April 29, 2016: Professional Management Group (PMG), India’s first sports marketing company chaired by legendary cricketer Sunil Gavaskar and co‐own ..

Football

Sevilla on the cusp of European history

Sevilla on the cusp of European history

Posted by: Monish Menon on May 3rd, 2016

Another glorious weekend of football came to an end across Europe with Manchester United delaying Leicester’s title party and Dortmund piling on the pressure ..

Tennis

Justine and Safin enter the Tennis Hall of Fame

Justine and Safin enter the Tennis Hall of Fame

Posted by: Anjan K Merkap on March 10th, 2016

Justine Henin of Belgium and Marat Safin of Russia have been inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame on Tuesday. Both Henin and Safin are former wor ..

F1

Formula One for sale

Formula One for sale

Posted by: Anjan K Merkap on March 29th, 2016

Bernie Ecclestone, the commercial owner of Formula One is ready to sell the entire 35% controlling stake in the racing series which is owned by holding company ..

Boxing

Vijender Singh dedicates his win to Indian Armed Forces

Vijender Singh dedicates his win to Indian Armed Forces

Posted by: Anjan K Merkap on March 18th, 2016

Indian boxing sensation, Vijender Singh dedicated his fourth professional victory to the martyrs of the Indian Armed Forces, in the Pathankot attack. The 30-yea ..

Other Sports

GAIL – Indian Speed Star – An initiative to strengthen the sport of athletics

GAIL – Indian Speed Star – An initiative to strengthen the sport of athletics

Posted by: Vikram Kamboj on April 27th, 2016

GAIL (India) Limited has embarked on a grassroots athletics program GAIL-Indian Speedstar which is aimed at unearthing young talent across the length and breadt ..

One stop guide to all the sports news, reviews, opinions, fixtures and live scores from India and around the world. A true reflection of sports.

Copyright © 2012 | The Sports Mirror