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Monday 30 January 2023 Dublin: 5°C
# Cyprus Avenue
'The way they celebrated, they think it's over... it's far from over'
Cork City’s Greg Bolger believes they’re capable of overturning the deficit away to AEK Larnaca next week.

Greg Bolger James Crombie / INPHO Cork City midfielder Greg Bolger. James Crombie / INPHO / INPHO

GREG BOLGER IS remaining bullish in spite of Cork City’s first defeat in 30 games in all competitions.

The Leesiders suffered a 1-0 loss at home to AEK Larnaca last night in the first leg of their Europa League second round qualifier, which leaves them with a significant hurdle to overcome in next Thursday’s second leg in Cyprus.

From a corner in the 70th minute, Joan Truyols poked the ball past Mark McNulty to give the Cypriots the upper hand. They made plenty of noise while celebrating the result in their dressing room afterwards, but with Rabotnicki (Macedonia) or Dinamo Minsk (Belarus) awaiting the winners in the third round, Bolger certainly isn’t giving up hope of keeping the tie alive.

“The few chances that fell to us, on another night they might have went in,” said the midfielder, who captained City last night in the absence of injured duo Johnny Dunleavy and Alan Bennett.

“Obviously it’s the little margins in Europe that get you over the line, like their set piece. I don’t think Nults had many saves to make in the game. It’s a lucky bounce of the ball in the box that’s done us.

“But like I said, it’s far from over. It’s only 1-0. If we go over there and get a goal, we’ll look at it in a different way. But it’s far from over. I think the way they celebrated off the pitch, they think it’s over. We’re going to take motivation from that. We’ll go over and give it a right go and see what happens.”

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Joan Truyols Cathal Noonan / INPHO Joan Truyols celebrates after scoring for AEK Larnaca against Cork City. Cathal Noonan / INPHO / INPHO

Before they can focus on Thursday’s second leg at the AEK Arena, City return to SSE Airtricity League Premier Division action on Sunday. With two games in hand, John Caulfield’s side can extend their lead over Dundalk to 15 points with a win away to Bray Wanderers.

Bolger said: “We have no time to feel sorry for ourselves. When that game is gone on Sunday we’ll concentrate on Thursday, but obviously the game on Sunday is the main thing. There’s a league to be won so there’s no point in feeling sorry for ourselves.

“We need to take it on the chin at the minute. We’re all disappointed but it’s not the end of the world. Obviously we hope we get the result on Sunday and then we go on, fly out Tuesday and take it from there.”

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