Europa League Group F: Apoel Nicosia beat Bordeaux 2-1
Nuno Morais' second half goal lifted Apoel Nicosia off the bottom of Group F and above Bordeaux following a 2-1 victory.
Last Updated: 07/11/13 9:13pm
Nuno Morais' second half goal lifted Apoel Nicosia off the bottom of Group F in the Europa League and above Bordeaux following a 2-1 victory in a stormy encounter which saw both teams finish the match with 10 men.
Morais slotted home from close range in the 54th minute shortly after Apoel striker Mario Budimir and Bordeaux midfielder Landry N'Guemo had received their marching orders.
Nektarios Alexandrou had given the home side a surprise 13th-minute lead with a superb strike and although that was cancelled out by Ludovic Sane on the stroke of half-time, Morais ensured Apoel moved up into third in the group.
Bordeaux had the chance to move above second-placed Maccabi Tel Aviv in the standings with victory at the GSP Stadium.
But they fell behind in the 13th minute when Konstantinos Charalambidis laid the ball off to Alexandrou, who fired past Bordeaux goalkeeper Cedric Carasso and into the top left corner with a thunderous strike.
Efstathios Aloneftis perhaps should have doubled the Cypriot champions' lead but could only shoot straight at a grateful Carasso.
The Ligue 1 outfit grew steadily stronger as the half wore on and Apoel custodian Rafael Urko had to be at his best to tip away Brazilian Jussie's effort from the edge of the area.
Urko also denied Ludovic Obraniak but Bordeaux's persistence paid off and they equalised in first-half injury-time.
Sane headed home at the near post from Obraniak's corner from the right, two weeks after scoring from a set piece in the reverse fixture.
Both teams were then reduced to 10 men five minutes after the interval as Budimir received a straight red card for catching N'Guemo with a stray arm.
N'Guemo was also dismissed for a second bookable offence.
It did not affect the home side, who took the lead for the second time in the game four minutes later when Morais burst forward from midfield, exchanged passes with Selim Benachour before coolly slotting past Carasso.
The Bordeaux shot-stopper kept the deficit to just one goal by making a double save from Efstathios Aloneftis and Morais, who saw another close range strike turned away magnificently by Carasso.
Bordeaux come close to an undeserved leveller in the dying seconds, with Hadi Sacko heading wastefully wide from a good position.