Simao equaliser apares Atletico blushes

NICOSIA - A second-half equaliser from Simao Sabrosa gave Atletico Madrid a 1-1 draw with APOEL Nicosia in their Group D Champions League match on Wednesday.

APOEL's Nenad Mirosavljevic scored in the fifth minute with a close-range volley from a cross by Nektarios Alexandrou.

Simao saved the visitors' blushes with a powerful shot into an open goal in the 62nd minute.

Atletico have three points, third in their group behind Chelsea and Porto, who have qualified for the knockout round. A win for Atletico in Nicosia on Wednesday would have booked them a place in the Europa League.

"The players' efforts were great, but there were problems with circulation and ball possession...perhaps if we had better ball circulation we may have had a better result," APOEL coach Ivan Jovanovic said.

Atletico Madrid coach Quique Sanchez Flores added: "The team was affected psychologically when they fell behind, but in the end it was a good result. Our aim is to continue in Europe."