Apollon have replaced Apoel at the top of the Cyprus football championship after beating Anorthosis 2-1 following Apoel’s goalless draw against AEK.
In the relegation group, Olympiakos’ chances took a hit as they went down 3-1 to Alki and trail their nearest rivas by seven points.
In a fiercely-contested game at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium, Apollon managed to take the three points thanks to two goals by their Greek captain Fotis Papoulis, one in each half, to climb above Apoel thanks to their superior head-to-head record.
The striker opened the scoring just before the half-hour mark with a brilliant strike from the edge of the penalty box but Anorthosis fought back and deservedly equalised through Duris just before the break.
Papoulis struck again in the 69th minute when he was left unmarked in the box to beat Anorthosis goalkeeper Ariel Arush.
Much as they tried Anorthosis were unable to hit back again especially without their influential midfielder Ruben Rayos who limped off the field early in the second half.
In Nicosia a couple of hours earlier Apoel were unable to breakdown AEK’s well-drilled defence in a game that the champions dominated from start to finish.
It was perhaps one of the better performances from the Nicosia team this year despite failing to find the back of the net with Mikael Pote, Guilherme Dellatorre and Lorenzo Embelio all going close.
AEL increased their chances of catching AEK in fourth place as they defeated a disjointed Omonia 2-1.
AEL took a two-goal lead through Gambionetta and Sassy with Omonia’s Matt Derbyshire pulling one back towards the end of the game.
In the relegation group, Nea Salamina came back from a goal down in the first half with a six-goal blitz against group leaders Doxa Katokopias.
Tiago and Noor grabbed a couple each with Eloudou and Siathas completing the rout for Salamina.
Alki moved nine points clear of the last relegation spot occupied by Olympiakos as they defeated them 3-1.
Geoffrey-Luc Malfleury gave Alki the lead twice after Olympiakos’ Castro had cancelled out his opening goal while their top scorer Fabricio added a third deep in added time.