After a remarkable progress, which, however, was not accompanied by distinction (3rd place in the championship and defeat in the cup final by Anorthosis with 3-1), our team again managed to secure its exit to the European salons with its end. 1997-98 football period, this time in the Cup Winners’ Cup after the double that the Famagusta team had achieved. In fact, this event would take place for the last time, since the leaders of UEFA had decided to end the institution of the Cup Winners’ Cup. The first opponent for the “blue and white” footballers was the Lithuanian Ekranas, which did not seem anything special, but in the process developed into a hard nut but we eliminated with a score of 1-2 and 3-3.
Jablonec – Apollon 2-1 (3-4 on penalties)
In the next phase, the opponent is the Czech Japlonets where we won the first match at the Tsirio Stadium with 2-1. In the Czech Republic, the “blue and whites” knew in advance that a difficult match would await them and indeed the players of Japlonets came in very strong and managed with two goals by Prohanska during the first half, to take a qualifying lead. Although many believed that Apollo would not have the mental resources to reciprocate, however, Nenad Starovlah’s players were not discouraged and before the first fifteen minutes of the replay was completed, they reduced with Themistocleous, and then lost the opportunity to which would essentially send them to the next round.
The final whistle of the referee found Japlonets the winner with 2-1 and so the game was led to the half hour overtime. Without strength, the teams failed to achieve anything substantial and so the thankless penalty shootout made its appearance for the first time in the history of a Cypriot team in European salons.
There spoke the class and ability of Sofronis Augusti, who managed to repel the last three executions of the Czechs, sending our team to the seven heavens and at the same time to the next phase of the institution. The penalty shootout: Prohaska 1-0, Spoljaric 1-1, Nekas 2-1, Papavassiliou 2-2, Skouhravi 3-2, Kavazis 3-3, Bardska (August rebound), Germanos (Giannos rebound), Benika (rebound August), M. Christofi (repulse Giannos), Girusek (repulse August) and Mladenovic 3-4.
Apollon: Augusti, Kyriakou, Kais, Aresti, Filippou, Spoliarits, Themistokleous (66 (Christofi), Voskaridis (73΄ Papavassiliou), Mladenovic (70΄ Germanos), Kavazis.