By Nemanja Bjedov
AEL beat Doxa Katokopia 1-0 at the Makarios Stadium in Nicosia over the weekend, a victory which saw the Limassol giants leapfrog Apollon at the top of the standings after their city rivals suffered an unexpected 2-1 defeat by Nea Salamina at the Tsirion Stadium in Limassol.
“We were in control throughout most of the game but wasted some really good opportunities especially in the first half,” said AEL coach Ivaylo Petev.
“If we had managed to score earlier I believe that the game would have been much easier for us. After the interval we continued in the same rhythm and eventually found the winner.
“I am pleased with the result and with the effort of my players,” added Petev whose side sit above Apollon due to a better head-to-head record.
With 15 minutes left to play, Nea Salamina held a 2-0 lead in Limassol with both of their goals, Enema N’Diaye’s in the first half and Diego Leon’s in the 75th minute, coming against the run of play. However, Apollon instantly had a golden opportunity to get back in the game but Bertrand Robert missed a penalty, so Marios Stylianou’s goal six minutes from time was only a consolation.
Anorthosis meanwhile needed a Moshe Ohayon goal four minutes into injury time to break Aris’ resistance and record a 1-0 victory, which leaves them on 25 points in third place.
Ermis Aradippou have the same number of points in fourth place, but an inferior goal difference, after they managed to play out a 2-2 draw with Omonia at the GSP Stadium.
“Ermis are not where they are by accident. We conceded a goal against the run of play but we did exceptionally well to turn things around. However, after conceding the equaliser it was very difficult to react with just a few minutes left,” said Omonia coach Toni Savevski.
The Nicosia giants recovered from a goal down to take a 2-1 lead, but they were undone by Andreas Papathanasiou’s goal seven minutes from time.
Omonia are currently fifth with 24 points, while defending champions APOEL made up some ground with a 2-0 victory away to Ethnikos Achnas. They are now sixth with 23 points.
Elsewhere in Round 12, AEK Kouklion scored two late goals to save a point against Enosis Neon Paralimni with a 2-2 draw in Paphos, while AEK Larnaca trounced local rivals Alki 5-2.