Trabzonspor hosted Apollon Limassol in their second to last Europa League group stage matchup at their beloved Huseyin Avni Aker stadium in Trabzon, Turkey. The match was blistering, slow, entertaining, tricky and filled with heart throughout the 90 minutes. The even sweeter part of that is there was a winner after some hard work from both clubs.
Trabzon winger Olcan Adin netted a quite impressive hat-trick as he headed in one goal, crushed home another and then finished his night with a slicing free-kick that dipped over the wall and crept in past the keeper. He was responsible for three of the four goals while he should be given credit for the fourth goal which was scored by Soner Aydogdu.
At 3-0, the home side did fall asleep quite a few times as the visitors were able to score twice in a row to bring the game back within one. In fact, Trabzon is extremely lucky that keeper Onur Kivrak made two point blank saves in a matter of minutes as the defense was clearly beaten more than they should have been.
The errors that the home side made today could easily be compared to the ones they made back in their second match against Lazio in the same stadium. In that match, Trabzon were defending a 3-1 lead well into the final 10 minutes, but a quick double stole two points from them as they had to settle for only one.
Now, Lazio will have the chance to host and defeat Trabzon on the final match day in the Italian capital of Rome. If they win, they will jump ahead of Trabzon by one point to win the group which will leave the Turkish side as runners up, but still guaranteed to advance into the Round of 32.
Now, for a little bit of analysis on what has to be done in Italy:
Trabzon now have 13 points whereas as Lazio has 11. If they start the game by pressing fearlessly and not making as many mistakes when defending a one- or two-goal lead, they can end up winning or at worst tying to contain their two point lead atop the group and then go on to win it.
Prediction: Lzaio 1, Trabzonspor 1.
The home side will create more chances, but Kivrak will keep them off the board for most of the night. Therefore, Trabzon will win the group.