Real strike late to dash Apoel Nicosia dream

EUROPEAN minnows Apoel Nicosia need a miracle to prolong keep their Champions League adventure after Real Madrid struck three times in the last 16 minutes in Cyprus last night.

France striker Karim Benzema netted twice and forgotten man Kaka notched the other as the Spanish league leaders won the quarter-final first leg 3-0.

Apoel, the first Cypriot team ever to reach the competition’s last eight, had frustrated Jose Mourinho’s men for most of the game, Benzema missing the visitors’ most presentable early chance.