Match ends, APOEL Nicosia 3, The New Saints 0.
Champions League: Apoel Nicosia 3-0 The New Saints (Agg: 3-0)
The New Saints were knocked out of the Champions League in the second qualifying round despite a brave effort in Cyprus.
Goals from Cyprus internationals Nektarios Alexandrou and Pieros Sotiriou did the damage for TNS, who held Apoel to a goalless draw in the first leg at Park Hall last Tuesday.
Tomas de Vincenti added a late penalty for the hosts in injury time.
"I am immensely proud," said New Saints boss Craig Harrison.
"The second goal made it a huge ask and took the wind out of our sails.
"We had our chances, but that is me being ultra critical."
Saints were left to rue missing two key chances in a contest in which scoring opportunities for the visitors were few and far between.
Jamie Mullan had a shot saved when he went clean through in the first period and Adrian Cieslewicz's goalbound shot was blocked on the hour as the Welsh side searched for an equaliser.
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However, the Cypriot champions kept captain Paul Harrison busy throughout.
Nuno Morais, formerly with Chelsea, fired a dipping effort just wide before Sotiriou missed a free header.
Vander Vieira crashed the ball against the crossbar as Nicosia pressed, before Sotiriou's header was brilliantly cleared off the line by defender Phil Baker, whose 31 appearances in Europe is a new record for a Welsh club player.
However, the quality of Sotiriou eventually told after the interval, his movement allowing captain Alexandrou to fire through a crowd and beat Harrison at his near post on 53 minutes.
Sotiriou hit the inside of the right hand post as Saints clung on, but when he was given too much space with 20 minutes remaining he swivelled and fired home from close range to end any hopes of a comeback.
De Vincenti added gloss to the scoreline with an injury-time penalty.
- 5da Cruz Junior
- 7EfremSubstituted forOrlandiat 78'minutes
- 16Oliveira FrancoSubstituted forBardini Bressanat 58'minutes
- 10De Vincenti
- 28SergioSubstituted forMilanovat 85'minutes
- 88Bardini Bressan
- 7SeargeantBooked at 69mins
- 2SpenderBooked at 42mins
- 14MullanSubstituted forDraperat 86'minutes
- 8BrobbelSubstituted forParryat 90'minutes
- 21CieslewiczSubstituted forSaundersat 80'minutesBooked at 90mins
- Nikola Dabanovic
Second Half ends, APOEL Nicosia 3, The New Saints 0.
Goal! APOEL Nicosia 3, The New Saints 0. Tomás De Vincenti (APOEL Nicosia) converts the penalty with a right footed shot to the high centre of the goal.
Steven Saunders (The New Saints) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, The New Saints. Robbie Parry replaces Ryan Brobbel.
Substitution, The New Saints. Greg Draper replaces Jamie Mullan.
Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Zhivko Milanov replaces Mário Sérgio.
Substitution, The New Saints. Steven Saunders replaces Adrian Cieslewicz.
Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Andrea Orlandi replaces Georgios Efrem.
Goal! APOEL Nicosia 2, The New Saints 0. Pieros Soteriou (APOEL Nicosia) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the centre of the goal.
Chris Seargeant (The New Saints) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Substitution, APOEL Nicosia. Renan Bressan replaces Vinicius.
Goal! APOEL Nicosia 1, The New Saints 0. Nektarious Alexandrou (APOEL Nicosia) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom left corner.
Second Half begins APOEL Nicosia 0, The New Saints 0.
First Half ends, APOEL Nicosia 0, The New Saints 0.
Simon Spender (The New Saints) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
First Half begins.
Lineups are announced and players are warming up.