Managerless AEK Larnaca earned their first win of their Europa League campaign with a deserved 2-1 victory at home to Maccabi Haifa.
With Ton Caanen having been given his marching orders, AEK produced a response as Gonzalo Garcia and Gorka Pintado earned them the win despite Jurica Buljat's consolation. The result left AEK still bottom of Group J and Haifa still second behind Schalke.
AEK Larnaca were looking to propel themselves into the reckoning and throw qualification from Group J wide open despite not having a manager.
They came into the match bottom of the group but had claimed a vital point from leaders Schalke with a 0-0 draw on matchday four to keep their hopes of reaching the last 32 alive.
However, that result was not enough to save the job of coach Caanen, who was sacked ahead of last weekend's win over Anorthosis with his former assistant Demetris Demetriou placed in temporary command.
Haifa, meanwhile, were hoping to take advantage of the upheaval at the Cypriot club and claim their second win over the managerless side after they beat Larnaka 1-0 on matchday one.
That was the Israelis' first meeting against Cypriot opponents in European competition and they had not won in nine games on their travels, and that run continued this evening.
AEK's Pintado made early inroads without creating a decisive chance before at the other end Gustavo Boccoli hit one wide from 30 yards.
In the 14th minute the breakthrough came and it was the hosts who drew first blood, with Garcia stabbing home from 12 yards into the bottom left-hand corner.
While AEK sat back to admire their work, Haifa struggled to respond as Ruben Gomez provided some interest with a speculative effort for the home team.
A header by AEK's Ander Murillo was saved easily while at the other end Eyal Golsa saw his shot tipped over by Alexandre Negri.
Haifa threw on Hen Azriel and Bamidele Yampolsky in a bid to change things but it was the hosts who started the second half more brightly, Ruben Gomez forcing a save from Bojan Saranov before the second goal came in the 51st minute.
Pintado was the man to provide it, collecting Jason Demetriou's pass from the right and firing home from 20 yards.
Haifa finally showed some life as they pulled one back through Buljat in the 75th minute but it did not lead to a comeback.