By Nemanja Bjedov
OMONIA coach Miguel Angel Lotina has emphasised that his side has a lot of work to do if they want to fulfill their ambitions after a narrow 1-0 victory over Aris Limassol in the first leg of the Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup Round of 16 on Wednesday evening at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia.
“We started well and after 15 minutes we had a penalty, but anxiety and the recent defeat to Apollon influenced all of our players and we missed the opportunity to take the lead. It will take some time and hard work to get us where we want to be both physically and mentally. This game is behind us and now we start to prepare for the league game with AEL this weekend,” said Lotina.
Polish striker Lukasz Gikiewicz missed the penalty, but Omonia’s victory did eventually came from the penalty spot as Brazilian midfielder Alipio was brought down but got up to slot the ball home ten minutes from time.
At the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca, Anorthosis and AEK played out a 1-1 draw also in the first leg of their Round of 16 clash, with AEK taking the lead from the penalty spot in the 33rd minute through Koullis Pavlou and Moshe Ohayon leveling the score in the 78th minute.
“This was a very good game in my opinion, especially in the second half when the pace was truly amazing. I believe that we missed our chance to secure qualification from this game as we wasted so many quality chances and after we conceded the goal Anorthosis took the initiative and they could have even come up with a victory,” assessed AEK coach Floros Nicolaou whose side are undefeated in the last four games in all competitions.
Anorthosis coach Jorge Costa agreed: “This was indeed a very good game. They had a lead and chances to go 2-0 up, while we did not have that many opportunities. However, I believe that the final score is fair and since this was only the first half of the tie the overall winner will be decided in two weeks’ time.”
Elsewhere, Doxa Katokopia became the first side to book their place in the quarter-finals after breezing past second division strugglers Olympiakos Nicosia 6-0 to set up a 9-1 aggregate victory, while Ermis Aradippou became the first casualty after AEK Kouklion’s excellent goalkeeper Charalambos Kairinos was unbeatable on the day.
After a goal deep into injury time the relegation battlers managed to record another 1-0 victory to go through 2-0 on aggregate.