WELSH PREMIER FOOTBALL

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THE New Saints held Cypriot side APEOL Nicosia to a goal-less draw at Park Hall in the first leg of their Champions League second qualifying round tie.

But they were on the defensive for much of the game after Scott Quigley had headed straight at goalkeeper Boy Waterman early on.

A poor clearance from Connell Rawlinson almost led to a goal for the visitors but Tomas De Vincenti sent his shot wide.

Ryan Brobbel and sub Chris Seargeant had chances for TNS but Paul Harrison was forced to make a fine save to deny Nuno Morais.

Inaki Astiz just failed to connect with Vander's corner at the far post in stoppage time as the Saints held out to deny the Cypriots an away goal.

Defender Phil Baker was man of the match on an evening which he equalled the Saints' coach Scott Ruscoe's Welsh Premier record of 30 appearances in Europe.

"I think that's the best team performance since I've been here," said TNS director of football Craig Harrison.

"We want to win and I'm a big winner but sometimes it's not about the actual result, it's about the performance.

"Everyone did their job exactly how we prepared them to do.

"I wouldn't say it was advantage TNS, but we have a great chance."

Meanwhile Apoel coach Thomas Christiansen said: "We came here to win, but we know what we have to do in the second game. Everything is in our hands."

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24 March 2017

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