By Iacovos Constantinou
AEK Larnaca took advantage of APOEL’s first loss of the season to Anorthosis by defeating Ayia Napa to move level on points with the Nicosia team at the top of the standings in Cyprus.
Omonia defeated Aris in Limassol while Apollon faltered for the second consecutive game, this time drawing away to Paphos FC.
AEK had to come from behind against Ayia Napa and secured the win thanks to two late goals by Kante and Alves.
Ayia Napa had taken a surprise lead in the 25th minute through Stoyianov in virtually their first sight of goal.
Until that point the Larnaca team had already squandered a host of chances with the visitors’ keeper Kittos keeping them at bay. However Kittos was unable to prevent AEK’s Alves from equalising with a simple tap-in just a minute after his team had taken the lead.
Alves could have doubled his tally and give his team the lead on the stroke of half-time but was unable to beat Kittos from the penalty spot.
Kittos’ heroics ended early in the second half when he was forced off the field after picking up an injury.
On Saturday, Anorthosis inflicted the first league defeat of the season on defending champions APOEL in a 2-0 win in Nicosia. It was ironic that APOEL coach Ketsbaia was undone by the team he graced both as a player and as a coach.
In a game of very few chances, especially in the opening 45 minutes, Anorthosis took the lead in the 69th minute through Victor and made certain of the three points after Ndlovou converted a late penalty.
The Milojević era at Omonia got off to a winning start as a Cilian Sheridan penalty was enough to give the visitors all three points.
Aris had come into the game on the back of four consecutive wins and even though they may feel hard done by with the penalty award they never justified their recent impressive run.
In Paphos, Apollon, without five key players, were unable to break down a well-organised home side and had to settle for a draw.
This is the second straight game that the Limassol side failed to find the net.
There was late drama in Paralimni with Enosis ‘stealing’ all three points after Ethnikos’ Iacob put through his own net in injury time.
Papadopoulos had given the home team the lead midway through the second half with Pinceli restoring parity seven minutes from the end.
In the final weekend game Ermis and Doxa played out a 2-2 draw with neither team happy with the result.
Nea Salamina beat AEL 2-0 in Limassol in Monday’s evening kick-off.