Ethnikos Achnas secured their first division status for another year after they snatched the point required against Pafos FC and sent the Pafos team tumbling into the second division along with Ayia Napa and Enosis who were relegated at the end of the regular season.
With so much at stake it was inevitable that this would be a highly charged affair with crunching tackles flying in and both sets of players showing passion and commitment in front of almost 7,000 fans (largely Paphites).
Ethnikos got off to a dream start when Hadjivassilis took avantage of a mistake by Pafos keeper Kodina and put his team in front in the third minute.
Demosthenous levelled the score for his team 17 minutes later, beating Ethnikos keeper Bogadinov with a sublime finish.
Pafos pushed forward for the goal that would have kept them in the top flight but were unable to put away the opportunities that fell their way. Their biggest chance came three minutes from the end when Agivi slid the ball past Bogadinov only to see Ethnikos defender Chatziaros clear the ball before it crossed the line.
The final whistle saw Ethnikos celebrate a memorable escape with their coach Danilo Dončić praising his team’s fighting spirit, while his counterpart Apostolos Markides offered his apologies to all the Pafos fans for failing to keep the team in the top flight.
The other winners of the final round of games were AEK’s Andre Alves and Nea Salminas’ Dimitar Makriev who both found the net on Saturday and joined APOEL’s Fernando Cavenaghi as joint top scorers with 19 goals.
Pafos FC 1-1 Ethnikos Achnas
Aris 4-3 Doxa
Ermis 1-1 AEL
APOEL 2-2 Anorthosis
(Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association)