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Thursday, March 8, 2012
Chiotis hopes to avoid Barcelona

APOEL Nicosia goalkeeper Dionisios Chiotis is hoping to be rewarded for his penalty shoot-out heroics by avoiding a meeting with Barcelona in the Champions League quarter-finals.

Chiotis saved spot-kicks from Alexandre Lacazette and Michel Bastos as APOEL beat Lyon 4-3 in the shoot-out after levelling the aggregate score thanks to a 1-0 win at the GSP Stadium.

It is the first time a Cypriot side has reached the last eight of Europe's premier club competition and Chiotis is hoping they can go even further - a task which would be made easier if they fail to draw Lionel Messi and Co in the last eight.

He said: ''We've achieved something no one would have thought possible at the start of the season. Things are getting serious now. We need to wait to see who else gets into the quarter-finals, but there isn't one team we would prefer to play - just let's not get Barcelona.''

Gustavo Manduca struck early for APOEL to set up the shoot-out.

''Today was an amazing night - it will live in our memories for many years,'' Manduca told ''We've made history for this country and we're proud of that. We want to enjoy this moment.

''We knew we needed to score to stay in the competition and scoring in the first ten minutes was very important - it was a gift from God.

''A month and a half ago I had an operation on my groin and I didn't expect to be back so soon. God blessed me and I got the goal to keep the team in the competition - what happened tonight makes me proud.''

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