By Iacovos Constantinou
APOEL and Apollon, the two Cyprus teams with European games mid-week, managed to collect all three points against Ermis Aradippou and Ayia Napa respectively, defeating their opponents by the same scoreline, 1-0.
For the first forty five minutes APOEL were second best to Ermis who was by far the livelier team, well organised in defence and always quick and dangerous on the counter. The visitor’s best chance fell to striker Ibraimi who shot tamely at Pardo when clean through.
In the second half APOEL upped the tempo and took complete control forcing Ermis to retreat. The home team missed a number of chances before Cillian Sheridan, who had come on as a second half substitute, scored with just two minutes on the clock after good work by Vinicius.
Apollon got off to a blistering start hitting the post as early as the second minute and missing a number of chances before Gaston Sangoy scored from the penalty spot in the 28th minute.
The Limassol team continued to dominate and should have increased their lead were it not for excellent goalkeeping by Athanasiou and some woeful finishing by the Apollon forward line.
They almost paid for their poor finishing when the visitors created two excellent goal-scoring opportunities in the last few minutes of the game but were denied by Apollon’s keeper Vale.
AEL’s coach Ivaylo Petev said that the two early goals his team scored allowed his players to ‘relax and enjoy’ the game. AEL dominated play from start to finish never allowing their opponents a chance to sneak back into the game.
Doxa’s new coach Boban Krismarevic accepted that his team were outplayed for long periods of the game by a much better outfit and that they will seek to win points against teams that share the same target as them, that of first division survival.
AEL’s goals came from Danielzinio, Cantou, Gigiewicz and Barcelos.
In the last game of the weekend Nea Salamina and Omonia shared the spoils at the Ammochostos stadium.
Omonia took an early lead through Pote but Nea Salamina fought back and equalized in the 55th minute through a superb free-kick by their captain Leon.
In the incident leading up to the Nea Salamina goal, Omonia’s defender Stepanovic was shown a straight red as he was adjudged by the referee to have intentionally handled the ball, denying the home team a clear scoring opportunity.
Tonight Anorthosis face AEK with the team from Famagusta hoping for its first points while Ethnikos Achnas may return to the top of the table if they can beat first division novices Othellos Athienou.