On Tuesday, Estonian football club FC Flora took Cyprian club Omonia to a penalty shootout in the second leg of the teams' meeting in the Europa League. Flora eventually lost on penalties and will continue its season in the Europa Conference League play-off round.
After dropping the first match-up 1:0 in Nikosia, Cyprus, Flora also fell behind in Tuesday's match after Andronikos Kakoullis put Omonia ahead in the 43rd minute.
Flora bounced back after the half-time break and Michael Lilander's cross found Rauno Sappinen just three minutes after the break and Flora equalized the second leg. The Estonian champion continued on the offense, pressuring the opponents until it finally paid off in the 88th minute, when Sappinen was able to slot it past the goalkeeper, who got his hands on the ball, putting Flora up 2:1 and equalizing the aggregate score.
Since the away goal rule was dropped from European competition this year, the meeting went to extra-time, where Sappinen was close to a heroic hat-trick, but Omonia goalkeeper Fabiano cleared a one on one situation. The match went to penalties.
Omonia hit on their first four penalties to Flora's three, but substitute Marco Lukka missed on Flora's fourth try. Luckily for the Estonian club, defender Adam Lang also missed on the following penalty, after which Rauno Alliko tied the shootout. The Cyprian club scored on their sixth shot, but Sten Reinkort's shot was saved and Flora dropped the shootout 4:5 and fell out of Europa League competition on aggregate.
For Flora, the European season is not over yet, as the Estonian champion will face the winner of Irish champion Shamrock Rovers and Albanian champion KF Teuta. The Irish side won the first match 1:0, their second leg will take place on Thursday evening.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste