Marinos Tzionis scores in Cyprus Men's National Team UEFA Nations League playout against Estonia 

Marinos Tzionis Cyprus National Team

Sporting Kansas City newcomer Marinos Tzionis joined up with the Cyprus Men's National Team for their UEFA Nations League play-out series against Estonia. After not appearing in the first round of the play-out, the winger started and scored his first senior national team goal in today's deciding second leg at AEK Arena in Larnaca, Cyprus.

After making one start in four appearances for Sporting in the regular season, Tzionis appeared in his 14th match for the Cypriot Men's National team as they looked to avoid relegation to UEFA Nations League D against Estonia. Tzionis started as a striker alongside Pieros Sotiriou and nearly grabbed the lead for the hosts in the first minute.

Within the first 30 seconds of the match, Tzionis got on the end of an arrant clearance just outside the box. He took a touch, lined up a shot and whipped it towards the lower-left corner of the goal where the Estonia keeper made the save. It would not be too long before Tzionis tested the keeper again.

In the 19th minute, Tzionis received a pass from the wing in the middle of the field. He composed himself, cut inside onto his right foot and absolutely smashed a shot past the keeper, off the bottom of the crossbar and into the goal. The bar-down banger of a goal fired Cyprus into the lead and brought the home crowd to its feet.

Estonia nearly leveled the match on two occasions with two attempts from inside the area that ended up off target. Tzionis continued to give the backline of Estonia fits but was unable to get another shot on goal in the first half as Cyprus took the one-goal advantage into the break.

The nerves were ramped up for Cyprus as Danilo Spoljaric received his second yellow two minutes into the second half, forcing Cyprus to play a man down for the remainder of the contest. That did not stop Tzionis and Cyprus from continuing to attack as moments later the Sporting winger nearly grabbed an assist but Nikolas Panagiotou's shot from inside the six-yard-box whistled just past the goal.

The insurance goal came moments later for Cyprus as Sotiriou beat the keeper with a shot into the lower-left corner of the goal from the center of the box. Estonia did not go down without a fight, nearly scoring in the 56th and forcing a save from Cyprus' keeper in the 67th, but the Cypriot backline held.

Tzionis' day came to a close in the 80th minute as he was subbed off alongside his fellow striker and goal scorer Sotiriou. Tzionis will now return to Sporting KC ahead of Saturday's match at Vancouver Whitecaps FC which will kick off at 7 p.m. CT.