Cyprus Mail
Cyprus football Sport

Apoel seal title after win over arch-rivals Omonia

Nicosia giants Apoel won the title again after outplaying Omonia in the highly-anticipated clash at the GSP Stadium

Apoel won their fifth straight Cyprus football championship after beating arch-rivals Omonia 3-1 on Saturday evening.

It is the 26th top-flight title in their history.

It was a game that was decided by two big calls by the officials, first by referee Vassilis Demetriou who awarded a harsh-looking penalty to Apoel with the scores level at 1-1, and then by his assistant, who wrongly flagged Omonia’s Matt Derbyshire as offside as he headed past Apoel goalkeeper Boy Waterman from close range.

Apoel deserved the win though as they were the better side on the day, with Omonia rarely being able to venture forward.

However it was Omonia who took the lead against the run of play as Derbyshire rose above defender Inaki Aztiz to open the scoring in the 10th minute.

Apoel equalised in the 37th minute through Stathis Aloneftis after Omonia’s keeper Constantinos Panayi could only parry Giannis Gianniotas’ goalbound shot.

The second half started with the same pattern as the first, with Apoel on the front foot. In one their forays forwards, Apoel’s Giorgos Efraim went down in the penalty area after a challenge by defender Marios Demetriou.

The referee pointed to the spot and after a 12-minute interruption in play due to crowd trouble, Pieros Sotiriou cooly sent Panayi the wrong way.

Two minutes into added time Vander sealed the deal, sidefooting the ball past Panayi for Apoel’s third.

In the other Championship Group game on Saturday, AEK and AEL drew 1-1 with two penalties settling the game.

AEK took the lead in the first half through Jorge Larena, while Piti equalised for AEL in the second half.

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