Hero Chiotis denies Atletico
Heroics from keeper Dionissis Chiotis helped Cypriot outfit Apoel Nicosia hold Atletico Madrid in Spain.
By Steve Pass
Last Updated: 15/09/09 11:06pm
Heroics from keeper Dionissis Chiotis helped Cypriot outfit Apoel Nicosia hold Atletico Madrid to a goalless draw in their opening UEFA Champions League Group D encounter at the Vicente Calderon.
But the visitors dominated the opening exchanges and Constantinos Charalambides missed two golden opportunities in the first period.
His first came in the seventh minute but Atletico keeper Sergio Asenjo pulled off a fantastic point-blank save, while he then missed a sitter late on.
Apoel had other chances, with Soares Paulo Jorge only just failing to get his head on a Charalambides' free-kick across the face of goal in the 18th minute.
The home side then sprung into life and Sergio Aguero crossed from the right but Simao's header failed to test the keeper in the 21st minute.
Christos Kontis was then booked for a challenge on Jose Manuel Jurado in the 24th minute and Simao hit the resulting free-kick from 30 yards into the wall, before Diego Forlan shot from the edge of the box, forcing visiting keeper Chiotis into his first save of the game.
Soon afterwards, Aguero shot wide from just inside the box and then forced Chiotis into a great point-blank save after the visiting defence failed to clear a ball from the box.
Chiotis was then quickly off his line to spread himself and deny Jurado with his head, while Jorge had to be stretchered off near the half-time interval after heading out a Simao free-kick under heavy pressure from Tomas Ujfalusi, with Boban Grncarov coming on in his place.
Atletico made their first change soon after the restart with Maxi Rodriguez coming on for Cleber.
The home side began to dominate proceedings but visiting keeper Chiotis proved to be up to the task - first diving to his right to push out a low shot from Jurado, and soon afterwards pulling off another save to deny Forlan.
Aguero then forced Chiotis into another save before the keeper denied Simao's deflected free-kick.
Both sides made substitutions - Marinos Satsias coming on for Charalambides and Florent Sinama-Pongolle for Luis Perea for Atletico - before normal service was resumed and Chiotis kept out a deflected shot from Forlan.
Forlan then hit a 30-yard free-kick just wide of Chiotis' left post in the 73rd minute, while Marcin Zewlakow headed wide from a corner soon afterwards at the other end.
Forlan then hit the crossbar in the 84th minute from long range, while Satsias and Paulo Assuncao were both booked.
But Chiotis had the last laugh as he again denied Forlan in stoppage time to earn his side a valuable point.
|Atlético de Madrid||Team Statistics||Apoel Nicosia|
|0||1st Half Goals||0|
|10||Shots on Target||1|
|12||Shots off Target||3|