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Apoel’s 13-match win streak over Omonia finally over

A 1-1 draw means Omonia finally avoided defeat to arch-rivals Apoel for the first time since February 2016

There were no winners in either of the two big weekend games as Apoel could only draw with Omonia while second-placed Apollon lost in Larnaca to AEK.

AEL reignited her slim title hopes with a 2-0 win over Nea Salamina and are now seven points off the top.

In the relegation group, Ermis Aradippou seem to have accepted the fact that they will be playing second division football next year as they went down 4-0 at home to Doxa Katokpias while Pafos FC scored an important 2-1 win away to Enosis in Paralimni.

The big Nicosia derby between Apoel and Omonia saw the two bitter rivals share the spoils in a 1-1 draw, the result finally putting an end to Apoel’s remarkable 13-match winning streak against the Greens dating back to February 2016.

Apoel took the lead early on in the game through Carlao who headed past Mejias in the 8th minute. The goal, instead of easing the pressure off the Apoel players and allowing them to take control of the match, seemed to galvanise their opponents more.

Omonia rallied and should have equalised on a couple of occasions but poor finishing and fine goalkeeping by Apoel keeper Romo kept the visitors at bay.

Apoel began the second half with much more intent and after Natel was denied by Mechias in the 53rd minute, the same player should have doubled the score a few minutes later when clean through but somehow missed the target.

This proved the turning point of the game as moments later Omonia equalised through Jordi Gomez who fired the ball past Romo from just outside the penalty area.

This was Omonia’s first and last attempt on goal in the second half. Apoel poured forward in search of the winner but first the post denied Jacolis, then Beziak misfired in front of goal and in the closing stages Mechias thwarted Al Taamari.

For the third time this season, Apollon were unable to defeat AEK, and this time they fared even worse than the first couple of meetings that ended in draws as they lost by 2-1 thanks to a brace by the league’s top scorer Ivan Triscovski.

In the opening 15 minutes AEK ran Apollon ragged but all they could show for their complete domination was Triscovski’s sixth minute strike. Apollon gradually got back into the game and Papoulis levelled the score on the half hour.

The second half was a tight affair and it was finally decided by a gaffe from Apollon goalkeeper Bruno Vale who let the ball slip out of his hands for Triscovski to find the net for a second time.

In the final top group game AEL recorded their first win in the playoffs as they defeated Nea Salamina courtesy of two second-half goals by their striker Hurado, the second one a penalty.
The win maintains AEL’s two-point advantage over fourth-placed AEK.

In the relegation battle, Pafos FC moved a couple of points away from the danger zone with a 2-1 win against Enosis.
Jens Cools got both goals inside the first ten minutes and even though Enosis got one back on the hour mark through Antoniou, Pafos FC hung on to claim all three points.

In the other bottom group game Doxa Katokopias hit four past bottom Ermis Aradippou with Asamoah giving them the lead in the fifth minute while Doxa’s winter signing Paul Batin, hit a second half hat-trick.

In the final match of the round on Monday night, 10-man Anorthosis thrashed Alki Oroklinis 3-0.

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