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Apollon to face Aberdeen in Europa League

Apollon Limassol will take on Scottish Premiership runners-up Aberdeen in the third qualifying round of the Europa League next week after both sides won their respective games on Thursday night.

Sofronis Avgoustis’ Apollon defeated Moldova’s Zaria Balti 2-1 away to record a comfortable 5-1 aggregate success and will now

The first leg will take place at Aberdeen’s 21,000-seater Pittodrie Stadium on Thursday with the second leg to take place at the AEK Arena in Larnaca the following week.

Apollon are looking to book their place in the Europa League group stages for a third time but face a tough challenge against the Scots who had defeated Bosnia’s Siroki 2-0 away on Thursday night after the first leg ended 1-1 in Aberdeen.

Aberdeen have four Scottish league titles under their belt as well as seven Scottish Cups and six Scottish League Cups.

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They are also the only Scottish team to have won two European trophies, having won the European Cup Winners’ Cup and the European Super Cup in 1983 – during their most successful era under former manager Sir Alex Ferguson prior to his switch to Manchester United.

One player who will have a good idea of what to face against Apollon is Icelandic defender Kari Arnason who spent half of last season at Apollon’s rivals Omonia.

Aberdeen have faced Cypriot opposition in the past with the Scottish club beating Nea Salamina 2-0 and 3-0 during a UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup meeting in 1990.

Meanwhile, Cyprus’ other Europa League representatives, AEK Larnaca and AEL, laboured to victories over Cork City (1-0) and Progres (2-1) on Thursday night and will now face Dinamo Minsk and Austria Wien, respectively, in the third qualifying round.

APOEL will take on Romanian title holders Viitorul in the third quailifying round of the Champions League with the first leg to take place in Romania next week.

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