By Iacovos Constantinou
THE first legs of the Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup semi-finals take place today with Apollon facing Ermis Aradippou and APOEL taking on outsiders Doxa Katokopia.
Apollon, having faltered recently in the league, know that their best chance of silverware now is the cup and will try to make the most of the first leg in Limassol in front of their vociferous fans.
Ermis Aradippou, who surprised a few this season with their attractive play, are in a semi-final for the first time in their history. Their coach Panayiotou had rested a number of key players in Ermis’ last two games and hopes that this will give them the edge over Apollon, who have begun to show signs of tiredness due to a long season that also included ten European games.
APOEL are hot favourites to make it to the final against footballing minnows Doxa Katokopias. Such is the depth in APOEL’s squad that their Greek coach Donis is expected to make a number of changes, resting key players in view of the tough schedule ahead in the league.
Doxa, also playing in a semi-final for the first time, cannot be taken too lightly especially if they manage to regain their early season form. They will be prepared to defend for most of the game and try and catch APOEL on the break.
For the first time in Cyprus, the games will feature five officials – the referee, his two assistants, plus an additional two assistants on the goal-lines.
Apollon v Ermis Aradippou (17.00) and APOEL v Doxa Katokopias (19.00)