Belgian side Anderlecht got an away goal, but still have some work to do in the second leg of the Champions League playoff after falling 2-1 to Cypriot champion AEL Limassol. It was a physical match, with seven yellow cards and one red card that set things up nicely for the return leg next week.
AEL scored first midway through the first half thanks to Junior but also managed to pile up some yellow cards thanks to their overly aggressive play. Despite offering up several free kick opportunities to Anderlecht as the half progressed, AEL's defense was able to stand strong and take the lead in to the locker room.
Despite the best effort of the Cypriots to hold on to the clean sheet, Anderlecht were simply too good not to get a precious away goal. After receiving the ball at the top of the box, Dieumerci Mbokani cleverly chipped the ball up and around a defender and beat goalkeeper Matias Degra with a quickly volley shot inside the far post.
AEL struck back though, taking a 2-1 lead thanks to a hard shot from distance by Rui Miguel that goalkeeper Silvio Proto got two hands on, but deflected off the post and in to the net.
Things then proceeded to get worse for Anderlecht. Less than a minute after being subbed off the pitch, forward Milan Jovanovic managed to rase a ruckus on the bench, kicking water bottles around, and received a second yellow card and sending off from the match referee. Jovanovic had been subbed because of an early yellow card for time wasting in order to protect him for the second leg. Anderlecht's goalkeeper Silvio Proto raced across the pitch to yell at his teammate as he walked down the tunnel. The only positive is since he was already subbed out, Anderlecht didn't go a man down.
Anderlecht will need need at least a goal at home next week to advance to the group stages.