By Iacovos Constantinou
League leaders APOEL were unable to record their fifth straight win and had to settle for a draw against AEL, while second-placed Apollonas moved to within a point of the leaders after a comfortable 4-1 victory against newcomers Othellos.
APOEL coach Giorgos Donis continued his rotation policy in view of their busy schedule, but this time it failed to produce the desired result as his team were held to a goalless draw against a plucky AEL team.
It was a game where defences had the upper hand and chances were few and far between. The visitors’ best opportunity fell to Gigiewitz but he was unable to beat APOEL keeper Pardo when clean through.
Pieros Soteriou (twice) and Efraim were the culprits for APOEL, with the former unable to beat AEL’s keeper Romero from close range after good work by Aloneftis on the left.
Donis defended his players and was quick to point out that, “the game this coming Tuesday (against Ajax in the Champions League) will be our fifth in sixteen days.”
Apollonas meanwhile had few problems in defeating Othellos Athieonu in Limassol.
Hugo Lopez struck twice to give the home team a two-goal cushion with Thuran and Rosa completing the scoring late on.
Anorthosis bounced back from two consecutive defeats with a 4-1 win at home to Ayia Napa.
The goals came from Stathakis (own goal), Makris, Abourjania and a late Calvo penalty.
Ayia Napa had equalised midway through the first half through Rochas but fell apart once they were reduced to ten men.
Omonia continued their poor start to the season when they were beaten by Ethnikos Achnas.
The only goal of the game came in first-half stoppage time through Atanda.
Omonia tried to hit back in the second half but woeful finishing and some excellent goalkeeping by Ethnikos’ keeper Goundoul kept the home team’s lead intact.
In the last ten minutes Ethnikos was forced to play with ten players after Dober was sent off for a second yellow card but managed to hang onto the three points.
The result propels them into fourth place, level on points with third placed AEL.
In the last of the weekend games Doxa Katokopias scored a late equaliser to deny Nea Salamina the away win.
Nea Salamina were by far the better side, failing to convert a number of chances that would have doubled their goal tally once Krstics had given them an early lead.
Doxa’s equaliser came two minutes from time through experienced Portugese defender Paolo Jorge.