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Bertoglio gives APOEL slender edge

APOEL secured an unconvincing 1-0 first leg victory over Luxembourg’s Dudelange in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie on Wednesday night.

The Cypriot champions were unconvincing for large periods of the game and were fortunate to fall behind on several occasions as David Turpel, Bertino Barbosa and Dominik Stolz all went close to beating Boy Waterman.

APOEL, who hit the woodwork early on through new Australian winger Tommy Oar, managed to break the deadlock on 71 minutes when the Dudelange defence failed to clear the danger and Facundo Bertoglio was left unmarked to score the winner off the inside of the post.

Mario Been’s side will now travel to Luxembourg for the second leg next week.

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“I am not happy with the performance but the important thing is that we won. We now need to regroup and prepare for the second leg which will also not be easy.”

Meanwhile, AEK Larnaca, Apollon Limassol and AEL will all be in action in the Europa League on Thursday night in the second qualifying round.

AEK are away to Irish side Cork City, AEL are in Luxemboug to take on Progres – who recently knocked Rangers out of the Europa League – while Apollon will play hosts to Moldova’s Zaria at the AEK Arena in Larnaca.

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