Europa League - Qualifying Third Round - 1st Leg
Aberdeen2Apollon Limassol1

Aberdeen 2-1 Apollon Limassol in Europa League qualifying

Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Christie
Aberdeen midfielder Ryan Christie opened the scoring after just four minutes at Pittodrie

Graeme Shinnie's 25-yard strike secured Aberdeen a narrow victory over Apollon Limassol in the first leg of the Europa League third qualifying round tie.

The home side surged to an early lead at Pittodrie when Ryan Christie scored with a header after just four minutes.

The Cypriot side grew in confidence and stature in the second half, though, and equalised through Ribeiro Santana.

Yet indiscipline cost the visitors, with Esteban Sachetti dismissed before Shinnie's winner.

Apollon head coach Sofronis Avgousti had already been sent to the stand, just after the Cypriot side equalised.

It may have been a rare home European win for the Dons, but given their excellent away form in the Europa League they will be confident of seeing the job through in Larnaca next Thursday night; and they did it without their main hitman.

Only Mark McGhee, John Hewitt and Drew Jarvie have scored more European goals for Aberdeen than Adam Rooney, but he may have to wait until the final qualifying round to add the nine he already has.

Aberdeen's early onslaught effective

The Irishman had a scan on a hamstring injury the day before the first leg tie and faces a race to be fit not just for the second leg in Cyprus but also the Premiership opener at home to Hamilton on Sunday week.

Early on, it didn't look as if the loss of their most prolific striker in recent years would matter that much. Aberdeen started impressively, with a performance of pace, intensity and pressing that Apollon found hard to resist.

They were also boosted by an early goal, with Celtic's on-loan midfielder Christie once again the man that mattered after scoring in the home leg against Siroki Brijeg before creating both in the away win in the last round.

This time, the midfielder linked up effectively with former Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven, looping in a header from the latter's inviting cross from the left.

Greg Stewart came in for some heavy treatment from Sachetti and the Argentinian midfielder was lucky to escape with only a yellow card for a shocking challenge on the former Dundee striker.

Apollon Limassol scores against Aberdeen
Apollon Limassol left-back Jander left Aberdeen goalkeeper Joe Lewis with no chance from close range

However, to their credit the Cypriot side somehow survived the Dons early onslaught and started to play their way into the game with some neat passing movement that only lacked a cutting edge.

It was unsurprising that Christie came closest to increasing Aberdeen's lead before the break with another lovely bit of skill at the edge of penalty area, only to see his shot fly just wide.

Like the home leg against Siroki Brijeg, though, Aberdeen looked second best for long spells after the break, with substitute Antonio Jakolis causing problems down the right wing, so much so that he created an equaliser.

The Croatian burst clear before pulling the ball back for Brazillian left back Jander to force an effort over the line from close range.

It looked ominous for Aberdeen at that stage but Avgousti was sent to the stand before the restart and worse was to follow when Sachetti picked up a second yellow card after flattening Christie with 19 minutes remaining.

The captain Shinnie rose to the occasion, with a stunning strike right out of the blue from 20 yards that arched its way into the top right-hand corner of the net.

Line-ups

Aberdeen

  • 1Lewis
  • 2Logan
  • 6ReynoldsSubstituted forWrightat 76'minutes
  • 5O'Connor
  • 3ShinnieBooked at 2mins
  • 7McLean
  • 8Stewart
  • 22Christie
  • 4Considine
  • 11Mackay-StevenSubstituted forArnasonat 61'minutes
  • 10MaynardSubstituted forStockleyat 60'minutes

Substitutes

  • 14Arnason
  • 15Wright
  • 16Tansey
  • 17Stockley
  • 20Rogers
  • 21Harvie
  • 39Storey

Apollon Limassol

  • 83Esteves do Vale
  • 22RobergeBooked at 83mins
  • 10Afonso da SilvaSubstituted forJakolisat 46'minutes
  • 5SachettiBooked at 71mins
  • 21Ribeiro Santana
  • 17Guerra Cunha
  • 99Maglica
  • 30SchembriSubstituted fordos Santos Saldanhaat 70'minutes
  • 25Kyriakou
  • 77Sardinero CorpaSubstituted forVasiliouat 81'minutes
  • 44Yuste CantonBooked at 38mins

Substitutes

  • 8Silva
  • 11Zelaya
  • 28Stylianou
  • 46Kissas
  • 88Vasiliou
  • 92Jakolis
  • 95dos Santos Saldanha
Referee:
Mattias Gestranius
Attendance:
20,085

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 27th July 2017

  • AberdeenAberdeen2Apollon LimassolApollon Limassol1
    FT
  • EvertonEverton1MFK RuzomberokMFK Ruzomberok0
    FT
  • Mladá BoleslavMladá Boleslav2SkenderbeuSkenderbeu1
    FT
  • FK TrakaiFK Trakai2ShkendijaShkendija1
    FT
  • Maccabi Tel-AvivMaccabi Tel-Aviv1PanioniosPanionios0
    FT
  • FC Olimpik DonetskFC Olimpik Donetsk1PAOK SalonikaPAOK Salonika1
    FT
  • AEK LarnacaAEK Larnaca2Dinamo MinskDinamo Minsk0
    FT
  • AIKAIK1Sporting BragaSporting Braga1
    FT
  • FC UtrechtFC Utrecht0Lech PoznanLech Poznan0
    FT
  • FK KrasnodarFK Krasnodar2Lyngby BKLyngby BK1
    FT
  • Östersunds FKÖstersunds FK1Fola EschFola Esch0
    FT
  • PSV EindhovenPSV Eindhoven0NK OsijekNK Osijek1
    FT
View all 29 Europa League results

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fenerbahçe641186213
2Man Utd6402124812
3Feyenoord621337-47
4Zorya Luhansk602428-62

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Apoel Nic640286212
2Olympiakos62227618
3BSC Young Boys62227438
4FC Astana6123511-65

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Saint-Étienne633085312
2Anderlecht6321168811
3Mainz 056231810-29
4FK Qabala6006514-90

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Zenit St P6501178915
2AZ Alkmaar6222610-48
3Maccabi Tel-Aviv621379-27
4Dundalk611458-34

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma6330167912
2Astra Giurgiu6222710-38
3Viktoria Plzen6132710-36
4Austria Vienna61231114-35

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1KRC Genk6402139412
2Ath Bilbao63121011-110
3Rapid Vienna613278-16
4Sassuolo6123911-25

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ajax6420116514
2Celta Vigo623110739
3Standard Liege61418627
4Panathinaikos6015313-101

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Shakt Donsk66002151618
2KAA Gent6222913-48
3Sporting Braga6132911-26
4Konyaspor6015212-101

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke650193615
2FK Krasnodar62138807
3FC RB Salzb62136607
4Nice6204511-66

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina6411156913
2PAOK Salonika631276110
3FK Qarabag6213712-57
4Slovan Liberec6114712-54

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague640286212
2Hapoel Be'er Sheva62226608
3Southampton62226428
4Inter Milan6204711-46

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Osmanlispor6312107310
2Villarreal62319819
3FC Zürich613257-26
4Steaua Buc613257-26
View full Europa League tables

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