Cyprus Mail
Cyprus football

Apoel and Apollon stumble to draws in title race

This was the seventh time Apoel have faced AEK this season and the seventh time the champions were unable to win

With just three games to go before the end of the season and the two championship contenders, Apoel and Apollon, dropped further points giving third-placed AEK a glimmer of hope of taking the title as they now trail by six points.

In the relegation scrap Pafos FC pulled well clear of the danger zone leaving Doxa, Alki and Enosis Neon Paralimniou to fight it out as to which team will join Ermis Aradippou in the second division, with Enosis the team in the worst position.

Apoel missed another great chance to pull clear at the top as they went down 1-0 to 10-man AEK at the Arena stadium in Larnaca.

This was the seventh time the two sides have met this season and the seventh time the champions were unable to win, a bleak record for Apoel that left their coach Paolo Tramezzani bemused at the end of the game.
“We are bitterly disappointed we did not even take a point from this game,” he said.

AEK created precious little, especially in the second half, and the winning goal, in the 66th minute by defender Gonzalez was their only attempt on goal. However they did have to play the final 30 minutes with ten men after Acoran received his marching orders for a reckless tackle on Apoel’s Souza.

However apart for a last gasp effort by Apoel’s de Vincenti that came off the crossbar the Larnaca side were rarely troubled as Tramezzani’s side was found lacking in the final third of the game for yet another game.

Apollon missed a great chance of moving to within a point of Apoel as they could only draw 1-1 with AEL in the Limassol derby.

The first half was highly entertaining with both sides throwing caution to the wind and attacking in numbers. AEL managed to take the lead in the 19th minute through Ion Gaztanaga and kept the lead until the break.

In the second half Apollon took control of the game and in the 53rd minute it seemed the tide was turning in their favour as they were awarded a penalty and at the same time their opponents were reduced to ten men as Anganovic was shown a second yellow card.
However Zelaya’s spot-kick was saved by AEL goalkeeper Vozinia.

Apollon continued to press forward and were finally rewarded when Yuste equalised with 15 minutes still to play.
Despite a frantic finish AEL managed to hold onto the point with the biggest chance falling to Bru in the final minute of added time.

Alki found it tough against relegated Ermis Aradippou who took the lead through Constantinou.
Alki managed to equalise just after the hour mark through Fylaktou while Dushko Trajchevski fired in the winner four minutes from the end.

In a highly-entertaining game in Pafos, Pafos FC secured the three points thanks to Nemec’s winning goal in the 74th minute.
Papafotis had given Doxa the lead with a long-range strike but a brace by Cools had given the Pafos team a half-time lead.

Bolievic restored parity midway into the second half before Nemec hit the winner.

Enosis Neon Paralimniou and Anorthosis took a point each in a 2-2 draw in Paralimni.
Two players, Anorthosis’ Ruben Rayios and Enosis’ Ioannis Pittas, scored in each half with Rayios’ equaliser coming five minutes from the end, denying Enosis what would have been a well-deserved win.

Nea Salamina beat Omonia 5-2 in the final game of the round on Monday night.

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