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Cyprus football

Apoel extend lead at the top after beating AEL

Champions Apoel won the top of the table clash with AEL 1-0

Apoel moved four points clear after overcoming AEL 1-0 in the weekend’s top of the table clash, while Apollon drew level on points with AEL after their comfortable 3-0 win over Ermis Araidppou.

Omonia re-ignited their top-six hopes with a 3-1 victory against Nea Salamina and are now two points shy of their goal while Anorthosis returned to winning ways against Enosis.

In the final weekend game Alki and Pafos FC settled for a point each, in a six-goal thriller with Alki snatching a point right at the end.

A penalty converted by Apoel’s leading scorer Nuno Morais, just a minute short of the hour mark, was enough to give the champions the precious three points against AEL.

It was a game of very few chances with both sets of defences coming out on top with each side creating just a chance each in a tough-tackling opening 45 minutes.

The second half started with Apoel showing a bit more attacking intent and they were rewarded when after a melee in the AEL penalty box Andre Texeira handled, and the referee pointed to the spot.

Texeira was sent off after a second yellow card and Morais scored his 10th goal of the season.

With a goal and man advantage Apoel took control of the game and even though Kerkez’s team tried they were unable to pierce Apoel’s well-marshalled backline. Even when Apoel were reduced to 10 men as well, after Nicolas Ioannou was shown a straight red, the Limassol team was found lacking in the final third, with Apoel’s goalkeeper Boy Waterman not having to make a single save.

Two goals by Omonia’s new boy Demetris Kolovos, both set up by another winter signing Charalambos Mavrias, and a third by David Ramirez gave the sleeping giants of Nicosia a crucial win against Nea Salamina and hope that they can still finish in the top six.

Omonia are two points behind sixth-placed AEK (who have a game in hand) and three behind Nea Salamina who up until a few weeks ago seemed certain of beating Omonia to a top-six finish.

Bottom of the table Pafos FC, who were docked six points last week, must be ruing their luck as a goal in the last minute of added time by Flores denied them the three points against Alki.

Spoliaric got the other two for Alki while Cools, Karo and Angulo were the scorers for Pafos FC.

Apollon had no problems against last but one Ermis Aradippou and ran out 3-0 winners. Zelaya opened the score early in the game with Sardinero doubling the score before half-time and Karayiol adding a third in added time.

Anorthosis meanwhile avenged their cup defeat to Enosis last Wednesday by defeating them 2-0. A second minute goal by Kacharava got the Famagusta team on their way and a penalty by Pranic just after the hour mark were enough to give them the three points.

AEK hammered Doxa 5-0 in the final game of the round on Monday night.

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