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Jack Byrne makes first appearance since McCarthy's sacking in crucial Apoel win

The Cypriot side are in good form under new manager Savvas Poursaitidis.

Image: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

REPUBLIC OF IRELAND international Jack Byrne today made his first appearance for Apoel Nicosia since Mick McCarthy’s sacking in a 3-2 win over Pafos. 

Byrne had been excluded from the previous two matchday squads since McCarthy was dismissed as manager, as he sought to build up his match fitness. The Irish international returned to the fold this afternoon, however, and was introduced off the bench with 20 minutes remaining. 

Apoel were 3-1 up when Byrne was introduced, and they endured a late scare when Onni Valakari scored for Pafos from the penalty spot. 

The result continued Apoel’s improvement under new manager Savvas Poursaitidis: this was their second win in three games, and though they remain tenth, the gap to sixth-placed Doxa is now just two points. 

Apoel have seven games in which to muscle their way into the top six and potential European qualification: the league splits after two rounds of matches, at which point the top six play off for the title and European qualification, while the bottom half play off to avoid one relegation place.

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