By Iacovos Constantinou
Apoel continued their impressive form with a well deserved 2-1 win over Anorthosis and coupled with the unexpected draw of leaders AEL closed the gap at the top to four points.
Anorthosis began the game brightly and went close to taking the lead in the first few minutes but Makris opted to cross instead of shooting from a good position.
In their first genuine attack Apoel won a penalty after Aloneftis, put through by Morais, was upended by keeper Veiga who was lucky to get away with just a yellow card. De Vincenti sent the keeper the wrong way to give Apoel the lead in the 18th minute.
From that point on Apoel controlled play with ease and should have increased their lead but for poor finishing especially from right back Solomou. Anorthosis appeared stunned and were on the backoot for most of the half.
Anorthosis began the second half with some urgency but without being able to create any chances and once Apoel weathered the early storm they took control once again. Both De Vincenti and Sheridan should have made the game safe for Apoel but were unable to convert.
Against the run of play, and after a melee in Apoel’s penalty box, Colautti slotted the ball into the net with a quarter of an hour left on the clock.
Anorthosis though, were level for just a few minutes. Sheridan made amends for his earlier miss as he raced onto a Vinicius through ball to beat keeper Valverde from close range.
The game was marred by the injury to Apoel’s coach who had to be stretchered off the pitch after being hit by an object(s) thrown from the home team’s fans as he was celebrating Apoel’s winning goal.
AEL were red hot favourites to record an easy win against fellow Limassolians Aris but knew they had a game on their hands when Aris missed two golden opportunities early on in the game to take the lead.
Aris finally took a deserved lead in 39th minute after AEL’s keeper Fegrus fumbled a longe range effort from Timoff, the ball bouncing off his chest and into the net.
As expected, AEL stepped up the pressure in the second half with Tom Caanen’s outfit defending in numbers but still dangerous on the break. AEL finally managed to break down Aris’s resolute defence when Intampntelai pounced first to knock the ball into the net after Moreiro’s header had come off the crossbar.
Omonia continued their disappointing season and suffered another setback when they failed to overcome Doxa Katokopias at GSP. In fact it could have been a lot worse as it was the visiting team that had the best opportunities to to break the deadlock.
Omonia’s coach Lotina once again juggled with players and positions but failed again to find the correct balance and players and coaching staff were booed off the pitch by their disgruntled fans.
With a goal in each, half Nea Salamina recorded their first win in 2014 over a disappointing AEK Larnaca. The goals came from their January signings Mengolo in the 30th minute and Eze with practically the last kick of the game.
AEK Kouklion moved into 10th place after defeating Alki withgoals from Akosta and de Bruno who netted twice.