PSG struggles to overcome APOEL with 1-0 win in Champions League
NICOSIA, Cyprus (AP) — Edinson Cavani scored three minutes from fulltime as Paris Saint-German edged APOEL 1-0 on Tuesday to keep top spot in Group F in the Champions League.
The Uruguay forward fought to keep possession inside the box, swiveling as he fell and pushing the ball past APOEL goalkeeper Urko Pardo.
The win gives PSG seven points in the group, one more than Barcelona, which beat Ajax 3-1 in the other match. The win also stretched PSG's unbeaten streak in all competitions this season.
But a feisty APOEL lived up to its reputation of being hard to beat at home, missing several good chances in each half.
APOEL had the first real chance to score just three minutes in when an unmarked Cillian Sheridan one-timed a George Efrem pass that forced PSG goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu into a diving save.
PSG tried to dictate the pace of the match by keeping control of the ball, but a tight APOEL defense didn't allow the French team any real chances on goal.
APOEL maintained its composure and tried to find ways through a tough PSG defense. Just after the half hour mark, Brazilian midfielder Vinicious dribbled well into the PSG area but his pass to George Efrem was intercepted by Lucas.
PSG's best chance in the first half came in the 26th when an unmarked Cavani missed a shot from close range after a hard pass from Lucas.
Cavani again missed a chance in the 40th when his glancing header ended up in the side netting and both teams had chances again just before the break.
APOEL didn't fade in the second half and continued to press for a goal. PSG survived a close call in the 55th when David Luiz saved a goal when he cleared a Tiago Gomes header off the line.
Luiz did it again seven minutes later when he cleared the ball off the line after Sirigu clashed with a sprawling Sheridan in the goalmouth.
PSG where again in danger in the 67th when a Nuno Morais blasted the ball from on top of the box over the crossbar.
A Lucas blast in the 69th grazed the APOEL post and Pardo gathered substitute Yohan Cabaye's 20-yard effort five minutes later before Cavani salvaged the win for PSG in the dying minutes.