AEK leapfrogged Apollon into second place after they managed to break down nine-man Anorthosis thanks to a late goal by Constantinos Charalambides, while Omonia overcame AEL 2-1 in the Cyprus football championship on Wednesday.
In the Relegation Group, Aris defeated Karmiotissa 3-2 while Ethnikos Achnas and Ermis Aradippou drew 1-1.
Charalambides was AEK’s hero as he finally beat Anorthosis goalkeeper Papadopoulos six minutes from the end to give his team the much-needed three points.
Anorthosis had to play the second half with nine players. First to go was Victor, who received two cautions in the space of five minutes and he was followed by Guilerme five minutes later after he was dismissed with a straight red in first-half injury time.
As expected AEK took the game to their opponents in the second half but struggled to find their scoring boots as a combination of poor finishing, excellent goalkeeping and the post kept them at bay until Charalambides’ late strike.
Omonia kept their European hopes alive as they defeated AEL to move to within a point of the coveted fourth place.
In a poor first half Omonia took the lead in their only dangerous attack on the stroke of half-time thanks to a ferocious drive by Dimitris Christophi.
AEL, who were the better team for most of the game, equalised 20 minutes from the end through a Piti free-kick but parity lasted just five minutes as a slip by Mitrea allowed Matt Derbyshire a free run on goal and he slotted the ball past AEL goalkeeper Romo for the winner.
In the Relegation Group Aris moved six points clear of the danger zone courtesy of their victory over Karmiotissa.
The winner came from their Greek striker Marangoudakis three minutes from the end.
In the final game of the day Ethnikos Achnas and Ermis shared the spoils in a 1-1 draw. Ethnikos took the lead through Kyprianou with Martyniak equalising for Ermis in the first minute of added time.