Omonia Nicosia are heartbroken after Thursday’s 1-0 defeat to Manchester United at Old Trafford, losing to a 93rd-minute goal by Scott McTominay, depriving them of the “greatest result” in their history.
Incredible defending until well into stoppage time, 23-year-old keeper Francis Uzoho, pulling off the best performance of his career, kept United at bay.
But the Nigerian keeper was beaten by McTominay, who pounced from close range with United’s 33rd attempt on goal.
Uzoho finished the night with 11 saves, with UEFA nominating him for the best player award for the fourth game day of the Europa League Group Stage.
After the final whistle, Uzoho said: “I am not disappointed because we had a great game – I’m happy – it’s not an easy stadium to play in with these big players.”
Uzoho told reporters he is a big Man United fan: “It’s a dream come true for me.
“I have dreamt of playing here for a long, long time.
“When I saw the draw and figured out I would be playing at Old Trafford, I wanted to get the opportunity to play.
“I’m happy I played here, and it’s arguably the best performance of my career.
Omonia manager Neil Lennon told reporters following the game: “We are heartbroken.
“A goalless draw probably would have been the greatest result in the club’s history. We defended heroically.
“I was really frustrated we didn’t keep the ball in the final third at all.
“My keeper was incredible, which you need against a team as good as this. I’m really proud”.
UK’s The Sun also praised Uzoho, noting his performance deserved the winning points.
“Uzoho deserved more.
“The goalkeeper of Omonia Nicosia, Francis Uzoho, made a performance tonight that deserved all three points,” wrote the Sun in its game report.
This is the second time in a week the Nicosia side gave United a run for their money after a tough game at the GSP: United won 3-2.
Meanwhile, AEK Larnaca fought hard for a result against Turkish outfit Fenerbahce at the AEK Arena for the Group B of the Europa League.
But the Cypriot team lost 2-1 thanks to a penalty taken by Michy Batshuayi on 80 minutes.
The game was marked by tension between Greek Cypriot and Turkish fans, with police arresting a 16-year-old Greek Cypriot AEK fan.
Better luck for Limassol side Apollon who beat Dutch AZ Alkmaar at home 1-0 after putting on a good show at the GSP stadium for their first victory.
Apollon’s win keeps them close to the group’s second spot, currently occupied by Ukrainian Dnipro-1, with two more games to go.