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Apollon deservedly take down APOEL for 2nd Super Cup

Piech scores for Apollon (Savvides Press Sports Photographers)

By Iacovos Constantinou

IN this year’s Super Cup, the curtain raiser for the football season, cup holders Apollon deservedly defeated champions APOEL with a 2-1 score thanks to a goal in each half by Maglica and Piech. APOEL’s consolation goal came in the final minute of added time.

Despite both coaches fielding attack minded sides, chances were few and far between throughout the game.

Apollon were the better side in the first half especially after the first fifteen minutes. Da Silva and Sachetti were in complete control of the midfield, while upfront Maglica and Papoulis were proving a handful for the cumbersome central pairing of Astiz and Merkis.

APOEL looked disjointed in midfield with Bressan, who replaced the departed de Vincenti into the side, looking slow and clearly lacking in match fitness, while De Camargo, the team’s recent signing to lead the attack, hardly got a touch in the first half.

Apollon took the lead in the 39th minute when Vassiliou’s cross from the left went past a sea of bodies and was fortuitously knocked into the net by Maglica’s outstretched leg. In fact, Maglica made the starting eleven only because Abraham Guie pulled out a few minutes before the kick-off with a calf strain.

APOEL had just one attempt on goal in the first 45 minutes when Orlandi’s goalbound strike hit an Apollon defender with keeper Bruno Vale well beaten.

The second half followed the same pattern as the first, but at a much slower pace. The crowds had to wait 20 minutes for the first attempt on goal, but Papoulis’ header went wide of the APOEL post. In the following minute, Gianniotas raced clear on the right but his cross just missed de Camargo.

Apollon were rarely troubled from then on and were content to give space to APOEL who were so predictable that they were unable to mount one dangerous attack until the last but one whistle.

Apollon’s second goal came in the 80th minute from Czech striker Arkadius Piech who swiveled and beat Urgo Pardo from close range with a deft strike.

This was Apollon’s second Super Cup win, both against APOEL, who showed that that they wanted the win more than the Nicosia team.

For their part, APOEL looked disinterested, especially in the second half, with their Brazilian striker Vander admitting after the game that “perhaps we were thinking of next Tuesday’s Champions League qualifier against FC Copenhagen.”

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