Apollon vs Grasshoppers by Gustav
In quite a difficult match for both sides, Cypriots can feel satisfied that they managed to pull out a narrow defeat with a goal scored, so the team kept decent chances of progressing further and reaching Europa League group stage, even though they are playing against more reputable team, Swiss side Grasshoppers.
In a very weird game, the visiting side didn't show much in offense, but still had decent chances and a chance to get even a better result. They missed a penalty kick in tenth minute and due the lack of concentration conceded a goal in the next action, while they leveled up the scoreline earlier in the second halftime thanks to goal from Gneki, but stood playing with a man less in 87th when Sachetti got excluded. Cypriots were defending heavily during the end of the match, but that didn't help the team a lot since they conceded the second goal in third minute of additional time.
Somehow, the impression is that the Swiss side was better, but also that the Cypriots conceded their goals somehow too easy and now need to attack and search for a victory. Disadvantage is that the league won't be starting very soon, so the team is still short of a real competitive form. Defensive midfielder Esteban Sachetti is suspended for this one after receiving red card in the first leg.
Grasshoppers, on the other side, can be satisfied with the victory since they took it during the additional time, but the result itself worries them a lot, since the team conceded a goal and now need to play the game openly, searching for a goal as well in the second leg.
Despite obvisouly being better, the Swiss side could still feel satisfied since they scored late winning goal that gives them slight advantage now. As for the domestic league, they come from a 4:3 defeat away from home against quite in-form Luzern, in a game that was played on Sunday evening. They stood two goals behind at the end of the first halftime, managed to level up early in second thanks to goals from Andersen and in-form Caio, but then conceded soon enough two more goals for the defeat, managing to reduce the deficit in last moments again via Caio.
After two matches played, they have a victory and a defeat, probably paying a bit more attention to their Europa League matches for now. Visitors continue to miss forward Ridge Munsy for this game.
- There have been over 2.5 goals scored in Grasshopper's last 3 games (UEFA Europa League).
Grasshoppers seems quite weak in the defense, while the Cypriot teams needs to attack which should open up the game. At the same time, Swiss have in-form offensive duo Caio-Andersen and they also won't be that easy to stop. Three goals shouldn't be so big task for these two sides.