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Cyprus football championship kicks off

The star of the weekend was undoubtedly Greek striker Constantinos Pangalos who scored a hat-trick on his debut for newly-promoted AEZ Zakakiou

The Cyprus football championship got underway this weekend with five games.

The remaining two ties of the first round – Anorthosis vs APOEL and AEK vs Doxa – have been rescheduled for Wednesday, November 1st due to APOEL’S and AEK’S European games this week.

The star of the weekend was undoubtedly 31-year-old Greek striker Constantinos Pangalos who scored a hat-trick on his debut for his team AEZ Zakakiou against Ethnikos Achnas.

It was also his team’s first ever win in the top flight, having won promotion last season. AEZ coach, 35-year old Nicolas Martides, was delighted at the end of the game saying that the two months of hard work paid off.

“We could have wrapped up the game before the break instead of clinching victory in the final five minutes,” he said.

AEZ began the game much more brightly than Ethnikos Achnas and managed to take the lead in the 13th minute through their goal hero Pangalos. However they were unable to capitalise on their domination and were made to pay the price in the 71st minute when Ethnikos’ Filipov equalised.

Just as Ethnikos was gaining the upper hand Pangalos hit twice on the break in the final minutes to give his team a deserved win.

AEL’s campaign got off to a winning start against Anagennisi Derynias, another team that gained promotion last season.
Despite dominating play, AEL were continuously thwarted by a rock solid Derynia backline and had to wait until the 66th minute to break the deadlock and this from the penalty spot.

Mezga was tripped in the area and one of AEL’s many summer signings, Bueno, rifled the spot-kick past Mastrou.

AEL coach Pambos Christodoulou said that he was slightly disappointed with his players’ finishing but praised their commitment and perseverance and said: “We showed patience and finally got what we deserved.”

Omonia fans finally had something to cheer about when their team defeated Ermis Aradippou 3-1 on Saturday.

However it could have been so different had Ermis converted just a few of the clear-cut chances that fell their way. Their strikers Alba and de Melo were guilty of glaring misses.

Matt Derbyshire had given the Nicosia team the lead from the penalty spot while Israeli winger Agayev scored in the 14th and 84th minute, the second after a dreadful mistake at the back.

Ermis had fought their way back into the game through a de Melo strike after 20 minutes.

In the final weekend game, visiting Apollon defeated Nea Salamina 3-0.

Inside the first 10 minutes Apollon were gifted two goals. First Guie taking advantage of midfielder Bebe’s poor control and then by Salamina’s keeper Veselovsky who dallied too long on the ball and allowed Apollon’s Zoao Pedro to block his intended clearance straight back into the net.

Alex da Silva provided the icing on the cake with a 90th minute strike.

Newcomers Karmiotissa were denied a great start when Aris scored a late equaliser in their 1-1 draw in Limassol in the final game of the round on Monday night.

AEZ 3-1 Ethnikos
AEL 1-0 Anagennisi
Omonia 3-1 Ermis
Nea Salamina 0-3 Apollon

Highlights courtesy of the Cyprus Football Association

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