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Former Chelsea starlet scores to keep Cypriot outfit's Europa hopes alive

Nuno Morais bagged the winner as APOEL Nicosia defeated Girondins Bordeaux last night.

Chelsea may have won the Europa League last season, but last night one of their former youngsters ended up being the hero by keeping his current side in the competition.

Group F, in which contains Eintracht Frankfurt, Maccabi Tel Aviv, Girondins Bordeaux and APOEL Nicosia, remains wide open after last nights results saw wins for the two teams expected to bow out at this early stage.

While the Israeli outfit were giving Bundesliga side Frankfurt the runaround, Ligue 1 side Bordeaux were in Cyprus taking on APOEL.

A win for the Aquitane side would have left them on six points, behind Maccabi on seven and Frankfurt on nine - it also would have left APOEL down and out, bottom of the group with just one point.

But the Cypriots are used to causing European upsets, and obliged us again last night - defeating Les Girondins 2-1 in the capital.

They took the lead through Nektarious Alexandrou before defender Ludovic Sane equalised just before half-time.

Both teams were then reduced to ten men, after Mario Budimir and former Celtic midfielder Landry N’Guemo received their marching orders.

Then up popped the ex-Chelsea man to earn all three points, and keep his side in with a chance of making the next round.

Portuguese holding midfielder Nuno Morais arrived at Stamford Bridge from Penafiel in 2004 - and went on to feature in two Premier League fixtures for the side after making his debut against Scunthorpe United in the FA Cup back in 2004.

After three years in London, he moved to Cyprus in 2007 - remaining there since, becoming something of a legend to the Thyros fans.

And he took that legend another step further with this goal last night…

image: © Jason Bagley

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