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Apoel held to draw by Karmiotissa in first match of new season

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Apoel, one of the favourites for the title, could only draw 2-2 at home to Karmiotissa in the opening game of the new Cyprus football season

The opening match of the Cyprus football championship served up a shock on Friday night as Apoel, one of the favourites for the title, began the new season with only a 2-2 home draw against Karmiotissa, a team considered by many as a relegation favourites.

Apoel got off to a good start and took the lead in the 14th minute through new Israeli signing Sahar after he slotted the ball into an empty net after Efraim’s shot came back off the post, with Karmiotissa goalkeeper Kyrenios out of position.

Eight minutes later though Karmiotissa equalised after Lundemo lost the ball outside his box to Sassy, who beat Apoel keeper Silva via a deflection.

Apoel could have taken the lead as early as the 7th minute but Merkis’ goalbound effort was hooked off the line by Christophi. The only other chance of the first half fell to Jensen but he blasted the ball well over from 10 metres out.

Both sides could have taken the lead after the restart, first Karmiotissa through Hadjivassilis and then Apoel twice through Satsias and Efraim.

Apoel did regain the lead though through a towering header by defender Santos in the 73rd minute but this time their advantage lasted barely a couple of minutes.

Another mistake, this time by rookie Satsias, gifted the ball to Christou close to the penalty spot, and he blasted the ball past the hapless Silva.

In the remaining time neither side managed to create any chances, with Apoel totally ineffective in the final third, and Karmiotissa sitting back to claim a deserved point.

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