Cyprus Mail
Football

AEK Larnaca beat Aris in impressive bid for Cyprus championship

AEK Larnaca are chasing their sixth consecutive win

AEK Larnaca continued their impressive charge towards the Cyprus championship as they moved four points clear at the top after they overcame Aris for their fifth win in a row. Their nearest rival, Anorthosis, could only draw at home to Omonia while Apollon climbed above APOEL after defeating Nea Salamina and the Nicosia team lost to Doxa.

Doxa’s defeat of APOEL at the GSP stadium will go down as one of the biggest upsets in recent Cyprus football.

This was APOEL’s fourth loss in the last six games and the first against a team not in the top tier. Since November the Nicosia team has managed just two wins, both against two teams in the relegation dogfight, Ayia Napa and Ermis.

With their championship hopes in tatters (seven points off the top), and the fans baying for blood the APOEL board will have to decide on the future of beleaguered Georgian coach Ketsbaia. Should the Georgian be replaced it will be the fourth coach to go in just over a year.

On the footballing side APOEL were yet again abysmal. For the first hour or so they hardly had a shot at goal with Doxa’s  backline rarely troubled and their keeper Hadjifrangiskou not having to make a single save.

Doxa took the lead in the seventh minute through Edmar after great work by Kalo while APOEL drew level twenty minutes from the end when substitute Sotiriou beat Hadjifrnagiskou from close range.

From there on the home side pushed forward for the win and both Cavengahi and Stilic were thwarted by the excellent Doxa keeper. On the one occasion he was beaten Doxa’s defender Leandro cleared off the line.

Doxa nicked the three points at the very end when APOEL defender Mario Sergio handled in the box and Paulinio thumped the ball past Waterman.

AEK needed a ‘gift’ from Aris’s keeper Nurendinofski to secure the three points in a rather poor game.

The leaders had taken the lead through Andre Alves in the 55th minute only for Randy to equalize six minutes later.

With nineteen minutes remaining a long hopeful punt by Tetey was fumbled over the line by the unchallenged Nurendinofski to give AEK the win.

Anorthosis continued their recent poor form as they failed to defeat a depleted Omonia side at the Antonis Papadopoulos. In fact Omonia could only name 16 players on the team sheet of which three were goalkeepers!

Despite hitting the post in each half the home side created few chances in between against a well organized Omonia backline.

In the two relegation battled Paphos FC nicked a point thanks to a bizarre last minute equalizer against Paralimni while Ethnikos moved out of the bottom three with a 3-2 win over Ayia Napa.

Highlights:

Apollon vs Nea Salamina 3-0
Paphos FC vs Paralimni 3-3
Ayia Napa vs Ethnikos Achnas 2-3
Anorthosis vs Omonia 0-0
AEK vs Aris 2-1
APOEL vs Doxa 1-2

Highlights are courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association


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