Cyprus’ dismal run in their 2014 FIFA World Cup group continued on Tuesday after Nicos Nioplias’ side went down 2-0 at home to Slovenia.
The Slovenian visitors mean kept their qualifying chances alive in Group E after against a lethargic Cyprus team rooted to the bottom of their group on four points and collecting just one win, a draw and now six defeats.
Goals in each half from Milivoje Novakovic and substitute Josip Ilicic kept Srecko Katanec saw the Slovenian visitors secure their second victory over Cyprus who suffered their second 2-0 loss in four days after previously going down by the same score in Norway.
The visitors opened the scoring on 12 minutes when Zlatan Ljubijankic broke free on the right and teed up the 34-year-old Novakovic – who plays his club football in Japan – who beat Antonis Georgallides with an easy finish from close range. Andraz Kirm and Andraz Struna missed further chances to double the lead and the Slovenians could have been punished had the unmarked Nektarios Alexandrou not missed the target unmarked and Vincent Laban not seen his powerful effort from close range brilliantly saved by Inter keeper Samir Handanovic.
But the visitors did get it right late on when the busy Novakovic turned provider and set up Ilicic who tucked away his side’s second with a neat strike into Georgallides’ bottom corner.
Slovenia next host Norway on October 11 on the same night that Cyprus are away to Iceland.

Cyprus Weekly

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