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Olympiakos and APOEL farewell Europa League 16

The Red's performance was disappointing, while APOEL put the pressure on too late

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Anderlecht vs APOEL Nicosia. Photo: HLN.be

17 March 2017

Olympiakos suffered a 4-1 defeat at Besiktas on Thursday night to get eliminated with a 5-2 aggregate score.

Even though the Turkish team played with only 10 of its men for almost 55 minutes after a straight red card shown to Vincent Aboubakar, the Reds' performance was disappointing.

Let down by its defence and its keeper, Olympiakos let two goals in from the Turks during the first 22 minutes, first through Aboubakar and then via Ryan Babel.

The Piraeus team bounced back for a moment with a spectacular volley by Tarik Elyounoussi that hit the back of the net, and gained a man's advantage on the 39th when Aboubakar hit Panayiotis Retsos offering the Greek side a 2-1.

While the Reds needed one more goal to go through, the closest they got was Costas Fortounis' go at the net with the ball hitting the frame.

It was on the 75th minute that Babel scored his second goal and Besiktas's third with the final score being work of substitute Cenk Tosun, six minutes before the end.

On the Cyprus front now, Substitute Frank Acheampong scored with his first touch to seal a 1-0 second-leg win for Anderlecht as APOEL were beaten 2-0 on aggregate in the last 16 of the Europa League.

Early openings came and went for Lukasz Teodorczyk and APOEL were fortunate to head into the interval still level as goalkeeper Boy Waterman was worked time and time again, fourfourtwo reports.

The visitors' improvement in the second half was minimal, though, while the Ghana international's impact was immediate.

Pieros Sotiriou and Lorenzo Ebecilio snapped APOEL's first notable efforts off target while Teodorczyk missed another headed chance and Waterman scrambled across his line to stop Hanni's shot, but the deadlock was finally broken with 25 minutes remaining.

Hanni drove into the area on the left and delivered a centre that Waterman could only help towards the waiting Acheampong, who had the simple task of converting into an empty net.

APOEL rallied, with Ruben Martinez saving well from Kostakis Artymatas, but the pressure came too late for the visitors as they crashed out.

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