Cyprus notched up another impressive home win in UEFA EURO 2008 qualifying on Saturday after coming from a goal behind to beat Wales 3-1. Cypriot captain Yiannakis Okkas scored two second half goals and Costas Charalambides added another to seal victory after the home side fell behind after 21 minutes.
Celta Vigo's Okkas, who duly picked up the man-of-the-match honours, rallied his troops after half-time and they dominated the exchanges thereafter. It was no more than the Cypriots deserved for an adventurous performance.
Wales opened the scoring against the run of play when West Ham United's James Collins coolly side-footed the ball into the bottom left-hand corner from six yards, after meeting a Gareth Bale free-kick. Apart from the goal, the visitors created very little in the first half, while the Cypriots came close when a Marios Nicolaou header flashed wide and another effort from Alexandros Garpozis found the keeper's grasp rather than the net.
After the interval the home side cranked up the tempo as they searched for an equaliser, but it was Craig Bellamy who nearly doubled the lead on 54 minutes when his lifted shot was acrobatically palmed away by keeper Antonis Georgallides.
Finally, Cyprus got a deserved goal to level the game after Okkas headed past keeper Daniel Coyne on the hour. The second came less than ten minutes later when the same player smashed the ball over the line after Efstathios Aloneftis had bundled the ball around the keeper.
Substitute Charalambides put the result beyond doubt with a bullet header from inside the six-yard box on 79 minutes.