Apoel extended their lead at the top of the table to four points following their 2-1 win over arch-rivals Omonia and Apollon’s goaless draw at the Antonis Papadopoulos with Anorthosis.
AEK moved above Apollon into second following their 6-0 demolition of Anagennisi Dheryneias while AEL slipped further behind after they were unexpectedly defeated by Ermis Aradippou in Limassol.
At the wrong end of the table, the three teams flirting with the last relegation spot, Doxa, Aris and Karmiotissa, all won leaving the standings unchanged.
Apollon could feel hard done by the draw as they were the better side especially in the second half despite being a man short following Semedo’s dismissal early in the first half.
Semedo was rightly sent off in the 16th minute for a very high challenge on Guilherme and this allowed Anorthosis to take control of the game with their midfielder Rayo initiating most of the home side’s attacking play.
For all their attacking play Anorthosis mustered just two chances in the first half, first through Carlitos, whose strike clipped the crossbar, and then a Gabriel strike that was well saved by goalkeeper Vale.
In the second half Apollon were the better team and could have sneaked it towards the end but da Silva’s rasping drive was well saved by the home side’s goalkeeper Koprivec.
Strangely enough Anorthosis coach Rony Levi actually blamed the sending-off for his side’s inability to take the three points: “I did not like the red card, they (Apollon) retreated and we could not adapt,” he said after the game.
His counterpart Sofronis Avgousti was delighted with his team’s performance, praising his players and saying “we have proved yet again that we shall fight for the championship until the very end.”
Two penalties in the final two minutes of the first half were enough to give Apoel a deserved 2-1 win over Omonia.
Pieros Sotiriou converted the first while David Barral got the second. Omonia’s Matt Derbyshire reduced the arrears four minutes from the end after Apoel’s Yiabere slipped, allowing the Englishman a free run on goal.
AEK had no problems against relegated Anagennisi Dheryneias as they hit them for six with Katala and Mitides getting a couple each.
The biggest cheer of the game though came in 58th though when AEK’s talismanic midfielder, Joan Tomas, made his reappearance after a four-month absence through injury.
AEL continued their poor recent run with their third successive defeat against Ermis Aradippou with the Limassol players being booed off the field at the final whistle.
Two second-half goals by de Melo and Masinoua gave Ermis an unassailable lead with Mavrou getting AEL’s consolation goal in the last minute of added time.
Doxa defeated relegated AEZ Zakakiou 4-0, keeping their slim first division survival hopes alive but still trail the team just above them, Aris, by four points.
Aris defeated Ethnikos Achnas 3-1 with all four goals coming from the penalty spot while the third team involved in the relegation scrap, Karmiotissa, defeated Nea Salamina by the same score.
Karmiotissa remain three and seven points ahead of Doxa and Aris respectively.
(Highlights Courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association)