The third round of the playoffs kicked off with the Ermis Aradippou v Enosis game on Friday afternoon with the visitors Enosis Neon Paralimniou recording a huge victory and possibly condemning Ermis to second division football for next year.
Enosis took an early lead through Minas Antoniou but Ermis fought back and deservedly equalized through Boula in the 55th minute after having two ‘goals’ disallowed in the first half.
Riera rifled in Enosis’s winner ten minutes from time lifting the Paralimni team out of the relegation zone.
Two games for the top group are scheduled for Saturday with Omonia clashing with AEL at the GSP stadium in Nicosia while Nea Salamina takes on AEK in Larnaca.
Neither Omonia nor AEL have won either of their first two games with the Nicosia team picking up one point while AEL, who led the championship race till the last few weeks of the regular season, has lost both their games leaving them eight points behind leaders Apollon.
AEL have not only lost touch with the top but they are in danger of losing third place to AEK who are now just two points behind them.
AEL’s coach Dušan Kerkez is expected to make a number of changes to his starting eleven in an effort to put an end to his sides poor run.
His main problem is that his team has been unable to find the back of the net in the last four games. Striker Jurado has lost his sparkle, while Schranz, who was signed in January to add some firepower up front, has failed to make any impact.
Omonia are currently bottom of the group, and even though they do have a mathematical chance of challenging for a European finish, salvaging some pride after another woeful season is the best they can hope for.
Since taking over the reins at AEK, Imanol Idiakez has managed to transform a team that was in danger of missing out of a top six finish into one challenging for third place.
Despite being without leading scorer Ivan Triscovski and experienced duo Acoran and Tete AEK will be favourites to take the three points against Nea Salamina.
However it will not be easy as Nea Salamina have proved over the course of the regular season that they are a match for any side. In Kingsley they have one of the most feared strikers in the league while central defender Roman Golobart has marshalled the defence admirably.
Saturday’s fixtures: Nea Salamina v AEK (17.00), Omonia v AEL (18.00)