Soccer-Anorthosis upset Olympiakos to reach group stage

ATHENS, Aug 27 (Reuters) - Anorthosis Famagusta became the first team from Cyprus to reach the group stage of the Champions League on Wednesday when their 1-0 loss at Olympiakos left them with a 3-1 aggregate victory in the third qualifying round.

A solitary goal from Argentine Fernando Belluschi was too little from the Greek champions at the Karaiskakis Stadium after the Cypriots’ stunning 3-0 win in the first leg in Larnaca two weeks ago.

“We are delighted. It’s an amazing result,” said Anorthosis coach Temuri Ketsbaia.

“We knew it would be difficult because Olympiakos are a great team, they have been in the Champions League for the last 11 years. But we came here and we held on and deserved to go through.”

Belluschi scored in the 52nd minute when Olympiakos shook off the lethargy of a dreadful first 45 minutes to throw everything at the Anorthosis goal.

Moments after Albanian goalkeeper Arian Beqaj, who had a superb game, had tipped away a fierce drive from Argentine winger Luciano Galletti, Belluschi latched on to a clearance and rifled it back past the keeper from outside the area.

Olympiakos continued to bombard the Anorthosis goal but Beqaj made two great saves to deny Galletti and Belluschi again. (Editing by Rex Gowar)