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APOEL earn hard-fought win, while Anorthosis humbled

By Iacovos Constantinou

APOEL had to come from behind to overcome Apollonas by 2-1 in Sunday’s top of the table clash at GSP. The surprise of the day though came at the Tasos Marcou stadium where Paralimni trounced early season title favourites Anorthosis, by 4-0.

Apollonas began the game confidently, moving the ball around crisply and closing down APOEL high up the field. The ploy worked and with just eleven minutes on the clock APOEL’s Selim Benasour was dispossessed on the half-way line and the ball was threaded through to Gaston Sangoy who finished off the move with aplomb.

APOEL needed a while to get over the shock but gradually began to take control of the game as Apollonas inexplicably retreated. Apollon’s Merkis had to make a goal-line clearance with keeper Vale well beaten, while Benasour failed to direct a simple header into the net.

Greek coach Giorgos Donis introduced two out-and-out strikers in Santin and Sheridan at the interval, which changed the game completely. APOEL dominated the game and the visiting team was pegged back.

APOEL drew level with Thomas de Vincenti in the 67th minute after Apollon’s captain Merkis was adjudged to have handled the ball inside the area. The winner came seven minutes later when the same player squeezed the ball past Vale from a very tight angle.

Despite APOEL’s dominance after the break, Gaston Sangoy could have sewn up the game for the visitors early in the second half if he had      found the net with only APOEL’s keeper Pardo to beat.

Nicos Kostenoglou, the newly appointed Anorthosis coach, watched his team being humbled by Enosis Neon Paralimniou by 4-0. The new coach, who officially takes charge today, must have been shocked by the way his team crumbled as soon as the home team took the lead.

Enosis’ Ibrahim was outstanding, netting a hat-trick, providing Angulo with the fourth, and in general running the Anorthosis defence ragged. However Enosis need a few more performances like this and hope the other relegation candidates, Aris and AEK Kouklion, falter further as they did on Saturday.

Aris Lemesou had to fight back from two goals down and draw their game against AEK Larnaca while AEK Kouklion and Doxa Katokopias played out a drab 0-0 draw with Doxa looking the likelier to score as the game wore on.

Omonia defeated Nea Salamina in Larnaca with Cerfa getting the only goal of the game in the seventh minute. Omonia just about deserved the win as they were more dangerous than the home side in the final third of the field.

Three more points for Ethinkos Achnas who defeated relegated Alki by 2-1. Dimitris Froxylias and Chidi the scorers for Ethinkos with Patranoiu getting Alki’s consolation goal.

League leaders AEL entertain Ermis Aradippou tonight at 7pm for the last of this week’s fixture list.

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