Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie keeps replaying winner against Apollon Limassol

Aberdeen's Graeme Shinnie (left) celebrates against Apollon Limassol
Graeme Shinnie (left) scored Aberdeen's second goal at Pittodrie

Graeme Shinnie admits he keeps replaying Thursday's wonder strike that secured a 2-1 Europa League first-leg win over Apollon Limassol.

The Aberdeen midfielder was at Hampden Park as the Scottish Premiership's 12 club captains looked forward to the start of the domestic season.

"I am still watching it now in the car down," Shinnie said of his 25-yard drive against the Cypriots.

"It was one that I enjoyed and one that's taken a long time to come."

Shinnie scored three goals last season - and has hit the net four times since joining the Dons from Inverness Caledonian Thistle two years ago.

"I've probably never scored a goal like that in my career, so to do it on that stage in a packed-out Pittodrie was something I enjoyed," said the 25-year-old.

Aberdeen are looking to avoid a fourth exit in a row in the third qualifying stage of the Europa League, but Shinnie thinks they have their best chance yet to reach the play-off stage.

"It would be massive," he said. "Since I have been here, we have always nearly been into this round and it has been frustrating in some of the games we went out.

"Even Maribor last year, I thought we were the better team over the two legs.

Apollon Limassol celebrate their equaliser against Aberdeen by Jander (right)
Jander (right) gave Apollon Limassol what could be a vital away goal at Pittodrie

"But we are in a different situation this time, going over with a lead."

Shinnie thinks the Aberdeen squad has better strength in depth following manager Derek McInnes' summer recruitment and that gives him added confidence that they can protect their lead on Thursday.

"They were good opposition," he added. "Especially at home in Cyprus with the heat and the home atmosphere and everything else, it will be a tough game, but we know we can do it.

"It is going to be a different experience from the last round - we went over there knowing we had to score and had to win.

"But this one we are in front, so we don't need to score, although I think we can score.

"I think they showed that we can exploit their weaknesses and there will be chances over there.

"But they will be the team that will be coming out trying to attack and needing a goal."

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