Apollon were the winners in the weekend’s big championship game after beating AEK 3-2 in a thrilling game, while in the relegation group Doxa were battered 4-1 by Aris leaving them seven points adrift of safety.
For the second successive game Apollon scored with virtually the last kick of the game to secure the three points against AEK at the Tsirion stadium.
It was an unbelievable comeback from Apollon who trailed 2-1 as the game entered the 90th minute but two goals in quick succession by Vinicius and Abraham Guie gave the Limassol team the three valuable points.
The win allowed Apollon to leapfrog AEK into second place, but they still find themselves seven points behind leaders Apoel, who beat AEL 2-0 in Nicosia on Monday night, with Pieros Sotiriou and Roger Canas scoring for the champions.
AEK will feel hard done by, not only because they let in two very late goals but more so because the winner came from an offside position that the assistant referee failed to spot.
AEK had begun the game brightly and took the lead inside the first five minutes through Florian but Apollon levelled the score before the half hour through a long-range effort by Vassiliou.
Both sides had a player sent off in the remaining 15 minutes of the first half. First to go was AEK’s leading scorer Ivan Triscovski who retaliated to an off-the-ball Zachetti midriff blow. Then, on the stroke of half-time, Apollon central defender Roberge was shown a red card for a tackle that should have been punished with a yellow at the very most.
Both teams seemed to have been affected by the sending-offs resulting in a very cagey second half.
The visitors managed to regain the lead in the 75th minute through Garido while a few minutes later Juan Tomas could have wrapped up the points for AEK but instead shot high and wide.
Aris made a giant leap in ensuring first division football for next year when they hit four past Doxa Katokopias in the weekend’s big relegation battle.
It could have been so different for Doxa as they begun the game on the front foot pegging back the home side. Tiago Gomes could have opened the scoring early on and despite being reduced to ten after goalkeeper Negri was sent off in the 14th minute, they continued to be the better team.
Five minutes before the break and totally against the run of play Aris took the lead through Marangoudakis. Two minutes later the game was all but over as Yousef doubled the score.
Frangos made the game safe with a third goal midway into the second half while Yousef netted a fourth in added time. In between, Doxa’s Braulio had temporarily reduced the deficit.
In the other relegation group games, Nea Salamina overcame Ethnikos Achnas 2-0 leaving Ethnikos without a win in eight games. Makriev and Engelezou scored in each half for the visitors, while Ermis Aradippou defeated Karmiotissa 3-1.
Masinoua, Bowman and Psaltis were the scorers for Ermis while Pantos got the visitors’ only goal.
In the second championship group game, Omonia overtook AEL in fourth place with a comfortable 2-0 win with Matt Derbyshire and Dimitris Christophi grabbing the goals.
(Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association)