Cyprus Mail

AEL stay on top despite APOEL draw

By Nemanja Bjedov
AEL coach Ivaylo Petev was pleased with his side’s performance in an entertaining 2-2 draw against defending champions APOEL on the resumption of the national football championship at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia over the weekend.

“This game was a real derby and it is not a surprise that all the fans were anxiously anticipating it. We started the game very well, but then we made two mistakes and paid the price for them,” said Petev.

“In the second half we focused on hitting them on the counter-attack and tried to score a third goal, but we lacked the final pass. APOEL had some good chances, but they mainly threatened from set pieces,” added Petev.

APOEL coach Giorgos Donis had a slightly different view of the game: “This was a tough and strange game at the same time. In the first half AEL had two chances and scored two goals, while we had no proper goal scoring opportunity although we were very attack-minded.
“We made two mistakes in the initial stages of the game and were punished.
“Luckily we managed to get back on level terms relatively quickly after conceding and even took the lead, but we could not focus to stay on top.”

APOEL are currently fourth with 30 points, level with Ermis Aradippou in third and Nicosia arch-rivals Omonia in fifth. AEL remain the league leaders with 34 points, while their city rivals Apollon are second with 32 points after they could only manage a 1-1 draw against sixth-placed Anorthosis.

“Anorthosis were better than us only in the first ten minutes of the game. After that we got into the game and started creating chances and eventually took the lead. In the second half we still had the upper hand, but we were eventually undone by Ohayon’s beautiful goal. After they equalised the game was open until the last minute and I believe this is a fair result,” said Apollon coach Christakis Christoforou.
Elsewhere, AEK Kouklion beat Nea Salamina 2-0, while Ermis overcame Alki 2-1 away from home. AEK Larnaca defeated Ethnikos Achnas 2-0 at the Dasaki Stadium in Achna to record their second consecutive victory for the first time this season.

Doxa Katokopia and Aris played out a 1-1 draw, while Omonia scored three times in the second half to see off Enosis in Paralimni.

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