Marinos Tzionis starts for Cyprus in 2-2 draw with Armenia


Sporting Kansas City winger Marinos Tzionis earned his 22nd cap for the Cyprus Men's National Team on Tuesday in a 2-2 draw against Armenia at Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium in Yerevan.

Tzionis started for Manager Temur Ketsbaia as Cyprus, No. 110 in the FIFA rankings, took a 1-0 lead in the 43rd minute as Andreas Karo headed home a corner. Armenia, ranked No. 95 in the world, rallied to take the lead with a second-half brace from 19-year-old debutant Grant-Leon Ranos before Cyprus equalized in the 83rd minute courtesy of Demetris Christofi.

At age 21, Tzionis has already established himself as a mainstay for Cyprus, scoring two goals in 22 appearances for his home country while competing in the UEFA Nations League, as well as EURO and FIFA World Cup qualifying. He earned his senior debut in 2020 and opened his Cypriot scoring account in March 2022, bagging the opener in a 2-0 Nations League win over Estonia. Tzionis added another goal in the competition as the difference maker in a 1-0 upset victory over regional rivals Greece last September.

Tzionis has made 33 appearances for Sporting in all competitions since arriving in early 2022. He featured in each of the club’s first four matches this season, including a start in a 0-0 road draw against the Colorado Rapids on March 4 and three substitute cameos on the wing. Tzionis notched his first Sporting goal in dramatic fashion on May 10, 2022, nodding home a 98th-minute equalizer against FC Dallas to force extra time in what became a wild 4-2 comeback victory in the Lamar Hunt U.S. Open Cup Round of 32. Four days later, the Cypriot tallied his first MLS goal in a road defeat against the Portland Timbers.

Tzionis previously represented Cyprus at the U-17 and U-19 youth levels—featuring in qualifying competitions for the European U-17 Championship in 2018 and the European U-19 Championship in 2019—before breaking into the senior national team in September 2020. In the two months that followed, he made five starts and six total appearances in the 2020-21 UEFA Nations League as the Cypriots finished with a 1-4-1 record. Tzionis started four of six appearances in FIFA 2022 World Cup qualifying over the course of 2021, then scored twice in the 2022-23 UEFA Nations League last year.