By Iacovos Constantinou
AEL continued their march towards their second league title in three years with a 2-0 win over Omonia while their nearest rivals APOEL squeezed past a resilient Anorthosis. In the relegation battle, Aris moved out of the danger zone for the first time in months with Doxa Katokopias moving in the other direction.
“When you create six to seven goal-scoring opportunities against one of the meanest defences in the league and fail to score you will be punished,” said dejected Omonia coach Costas Kaiafas after the game.
AEL took the lead through a Monteiro sixth minute goal but the visitors stormed back and missed some glorious chances to equalise with Skembri and Efraim the main culprits. AEL weathered the storm and gradually eased their way into the game. On the stroke of half-time Idabdhelay made the game safe for AEL when he took advantage of a blunder by Omonia defender Serfa.
Anorthosis always seem to lift their game against APOEL and Sunday was no exception. Despite collecting just one point in ten games they were by far the better side and could have wrapped up the game in the first half had it not been for some outstanding saves from APOEL’s keeper Pardo.
Both sides missed chances after the break and it was APOEL who were fortunate enough to break the deadlock through Vinicius following some poor defending by the home team. However Vinicius’ celebrations were deemed excessive by referee Panayi and he was yellow-carded, meaning he will miss the crunch game against AEL on Tuesday week.
Apollon avenged their cup exit at the hands of Ermis Aradippou last Wednesday and thumped four past them. Lopez scored a hat-trick with Gaston Sangoy getting the fourth. With this win Apollon kept their hopes of a Champions League finish alive even though they trail second-placed APOEL by five points.
Aris Limassol took a huge leap towards safety when they managed with ten men to come from behind and defeat Doxa Katokopias 3-1. Doxa took the lead through Leandro but goals from Yousef, Pintceli and Dina gave the three points to the Limassol outfit.
Ethnikos Achnas and Nea Salamina shared the points in a 1-1 draw, with the Ethnikos president Kikis Philippou laying the blame on some dubious refereeing decisions. Ethnikos are now level on points with Doxa with Aris just a point ahead.
AEK Larnaca defeated AEK Kouklion by a solitary Mitides goal and it appears that the team from Kouklia will be heading back to the second division next year barring a miraculous comeback as they are eight points from the safety zone.