By Iacovos Constantinou
Ermis Aradippou threw the championship race wide open as they inflicted APOEL’s first league defeat of the season over the weekend, allowing Apollon, who defeated Agia Napa, to go top on ‘most goals scored’ and the chasing pack to move within five points of the leaders.
APOEL got off to a great start taking the lead in the eighth minute through Soteriou and controlling the game with relative ease. They missed a number of chances to increase their advantage in the first half but their poor finishing let them down.
The loss of Vinicius on the stroke of half-time through injury seemed to be the turning point in the game as Ermis emerged from the break much stronger and took command of the game. They were rewarded early in the second half when their livewire striker Onilo beat the APOEL defence to nonchalantly hit the ball past oncoming APOEL keeper Pardo.
As the game wore on APOEL took complete control but created few clear-cut chances. In fact it was Ermis who missed the best chance as Samaras’ shot hit the post and then ricocheted off Pardo to go inches wide of the post. In the final stages of the game, and with APOEL players pouring forward in search of the winner, Ermis hit them on the break with Onilo outpacing APOEL’s Carlao, and racing half the length of pitch to unleash an unstoppable shot in injury time.
Apollon meanwhile raced into a 3-0 lead with barely a fifth of the game gone with Stoyianovic, Guie and Adrande all scoring.
Ayia Napa tried to fight back and early in the second half goals from Georgiou and Marchev gave them a lifeline.
However Apollon proved too strong and in a space of a couple of minutes wrapped up the game with further goals from Papoulis and Gullon.
AEK Larnaca continued their recent impressive run with a win over Anorthosis who played the last 30minutes with a player short after Makos got his marching orders for a second yellow card.
The only goal of the game came midway into the second half when AEK’s Katala rose above everyone to head the ball into the net.
AEL continued their poor form as they were held to a goalless draw against lowly Doxa in Limassol while Omonia produced one of their better displays of the season to crush Nea Salamina 3-0 with Pote netting his 10th goal of the season.
In the final game of the weekend, Ethnikos Achnas came from behind to defeat luckless Othellos Athienou 2-1.
Othellos had taken the lead through Grigalasvili but goals from Pinto and Amesan gave all three points to Ethnikos.
The championship resumes on January 3rd 2015.