Trabzonspor leave it late
Yusuf Erdogan snatched a late winner as Trabzonspor launched their mission to make the grade in Europa League Group J with a narrow win in Cyprus.
Last Updated: 19/09/13 10:34pm
Substitute Yusuf Erdogan snatched a late winner as Trabzonspor launched their mission to make the grade in Europa League Group J with a narrow 2-1 win over Apollon Limassol in Cyprus.
Having been on the pitch for less than 10 minutes, Erdogan converted his first chance as the visitors came from behind to take all three points.
Earlier, Gaston Sangoy's penalty had edged Apollon Limassol ahead, with Florent Malouda heading a 20th-minute equaliser.
After making a sketchy start to the Super Lig season, with two wins and two losses so far, Trabzonspor turned up in Limassol with manager Mustafa Resit Akcay looking for his team to raise their game for the European campaign.
He knew Apollon were not a team to take lightly, given they beat French side Nice in the play-offs to reach the group stage.
All the early pressure came from Apollon too, with Marcos Gullon firing over from 20 yards.
They were handed a penalty in the 17th minutes when Souleymane Bamba fouled Abraham Guie Guie, earning himself a booking and presenting Apollon with the chance to take the lead.
Sangoy made no mistake, drilling his penalty high down the middle.
Malouda hauled Trabzonspor level just three minutes later when he met Olcan Adin's cross from the right with a close-range header.
Frenchman Malouda, joined in the Trabzonspor side by former Chelsea team-mate Jose Bosingwa, sent a left-footed strike too high soon after the leveller.
Sangoy twice threatened to restore Apollon's lead before the interval, while Trabzonspor centre forward Paulo Henrique spurned a chance when he headed wide from six yards.
Early in the second half Giorgos Merkis and Adrian Mierzejewski missed the target for the visitors, while Apollon's threat diminished.
Mierzejewski, twice, and Bosingwa, failed to test Apollon goalkeeper Bruno Vale with shots that ran wide, but pressure was mounting and it climaxed with the winner in the 86th minute, Mierzejweski feeding Erdogan with a pass from the right and the midfielder cracking in a 12-yard shot.