The APOEL starting lineup for the game (Trickovski top row, first on the left); photo: 24sports.com.cy

Tricko and APOEL suffer 0:3 loss to Real Madrid

The APOEL starting lineup for the game (Trickovski top row, first on the left); photo: 24sports.com.cy APOEL defended bravely for over 70 minutes but then Spanish giants Real Madrid scored three goals after the 74th minute to collect a 0:3 road victory in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final matchup held in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Macedonian international Ivan Trickovski started up front where he played just behind the main striker Aílton Almeida.  APOEL defended well and went into the break at halftime with the score still at 0:0.  Real Madrid had the best chance of the game in the 1st half but striker Karim Benzema shot wide from close range in the 33rd minute to waste a great opportunity.

APOEL continued to frustrate Real Madrid in the beginning of the 2nd half but the Cypriot club wore down and conceded all three goals after the 74th minute.  Real Madrid dominated possession throughout the game and the APOEL players eventually got tired and conceded the three late goals.

After the APOEL manager made a questionable substitution in the 72nd minute by bringing on striker Esteban Solari for defensive midfielder Hélio Pinto, Real Madrid found more space and managed to score three goals in the 74th, 82nd, and 90th minute.

Ivan Trickovski played all 90 minutes for the home side but could not create any chances on offense as APOEL did not attempt a single shot on goal throughout the entire game.  The return leg will be played next Wednesday in Spain but this matchup is already decided with today’s result and Real Madrid will be heading to the semi-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

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