AEL and AEK Larnaca marched into the second qualifying round of the Europa League on Thursday night after easing past their first round opponents from Gibraltar.
Both Cypriot sides had gone into the second leg fixtures with health aggregate leads with AEL thrashing St. Joseph’s 6-0 to rack up a 10-0 aggregate success while Imanol Idiakez’s AEK had a less easy time in their 1-1 draw at Lincoln Red Imps but still progressed after their 5-0 victory in the first leg in Larnaca.
The first legs in the second qualifying round get underway next week.
Goals from Marios Elia (2), Andreas Avraam, Andreas Mavros and Dani Benitez saw Bruno Baltazar’s AEL sink St. Joseph’s in Limassol and they will now face Progres of Luxembourg – who had secured the big shock of the round after they managed to eliminate Rangers.
In Portugal, AEK boss Idiakez had put out a weakened side as they were held to a 1-1 draw. Anthony Bardon had given the hosts a halftime lead with a header before substitute Jorge Larena spared AEK’s blushes towards the end after converting a penalty won by Tete.
AEK will now face Cork City after they beat Leivadia of Estonia 6-2 on aggregate.
Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup holders Apollon Limassol will face Moldova’s Zaria Balti in the next round after they had eliminated favourites FK Sarajevo 5-4 on penalties after extra time had finished 2-1 (3-3 on aggregate).
Champions APOEL will be in action next week in the Champions League second qualifying round against Dudelange of Luxembourg.