The most romantic “Blue and Yellow” date took place on February 14, 2012, at the Zerlan stadium
Every year on this day millions of couples celebrate the day of lovers. You know, hugs, flowers, gifts, chocolates and other treats. And yet this day remains forever unforgettable to APOEL friends for other reasons. It was the first date of a relationship… love.
February 14, 2012, when APOEL took the first step to write the most golden page in its history. More than 4 thousand Oranges had landed in Zerlan, and tens of thousands more who stayed in Cyprus were glued to the television. The atmosphere… romantic. The people of Lyon were speechless because they did not expect that some “crazy people” in Cyprus would make such a trip, and would express their feelings for their team in this way.
It was but it is true that the “blue and yellow” had traveled to France to compete for the first time in their history in a match for the “16” of the Champions League. Athlos… You can hardly find words to describe it, and yet on February 14, 2012 it was only the first date.
At 21:45 APOEL the game started. The difference in capacity between the two teams… big. Joris, Bastos, Lacazette, Gomis were just some of the big names of Lyon. Nothing to do with today's Lyon…
On the other hand, APOEL led by “general” Ivan Jovanovitch was looking for the result to lead the qualification to Nicosia. In other words, to stay alive in Zerlan, a very difficult mission.
The game was intense and Lyon had the upper hand. Chiotis saved APOEL in the 40th minute and Paolo Jorge shortly afterwards drove to the line (47th minute). The more time passed, the more the APOEL players believed it even though the French were “shooting”. In the 58th minute, Lyon found the goal they were looking for with a dose of luck and with Lacazette (who knew what would follow in the replay).
Everyone believed that the meeting would turn into a nightmare since the pressure of Lyon until that moment it was huge. But after the goal, things were somewhat different. The French felt safe and thought they had done their job. This is how APOEL stayed alive. In the 88th minute, Maduka tried his foot, but Joris said no.
Next point was the triple whistle for the finale. Mixed feelings for APOEL fans. They knew that in Nicosia there would be a chance, although in reality the chances were few.
On March 8, they would look for a miracle in the GSP, and few said openly that they would succeed. To say that APOEL will pass Lyon and find themselves in the “8” of the Champions League? You must be crazy… how can we do it.
But no one knew that APOEL's extra effort in Zerlan would be rewarded. The relationship between APOEL and Lyon had another episode and this one was magical for the “Blue and Yellows”. Two weeks later the “Blue and Yellow” would write the most golden page in their history. A magical night in which Europe bowed to APOEL.
SNAPSHOTS OF THE MATCH
THE ELEVEN IN GERLAN:
Chiotis, Boaventura, Kaka, Jorge, Poursaitidis, Morais, Pinto, Elder (72' Marcinho), Triskovski, Charalambidis (81' Madouka), Ailton (67' Solari)
P.S. It is no coincidence that such a day is also the birthday of William Boaventura.