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Apollon miss chance to increase lead at the top after late Pafos equalizer

Apollon miss chance to increase lead at the top after draw against Pafos Apollon failed to extend their lead at the top of the Cypriot first division today after their 1-1 draw against Pafos away from home.
The Pafos players celebrate Jason Puncheon's late equalizer.

Apollon failed to extend their lead at the top of the Cypriot first division today after their 1-1 draw against Pafos away from home.

Apollon started the game well, with Pittas threatening from distance early on in the first half.

Pafos grew into the game midway through the first half, with the home team pressing Apollon higher up the pitch and committing players forward.

Apollon capitalized on Pafos’ attacking intent by striking during a counter-attack, with Pittas finding the net from close distance after a Salai cross from the left.

A similar situation played out in the second half, with Apollon being the better team before Pafos balancing things out and taking the initiative.

Pafos finally found a breakthrough in the 89th minute when veteran forward Jason Puncheon’s cross-cum-shot of a set-piece bypassed everyone and nestled into Demetris Demetriou’s bottom right corner.

Speaking after the game, Apollon manager Petrakis struck a professional tone, focusing on the positives and the long road ahead.

“It was a great but difficult game for us. We faced a quality side”, Petrakis said.

“We controlled the game for most of the first half and maybe until the 70th minute. But Pafos had their moments and we conceded an equalizer. We are not pleased with the result but these things happen. I’m pleased with the effort of my players”, the Apollon manager added.

“I wish everyone happy holidays and we hope this pandemic is over soon”, he concluded in his opening comment to the press.

Pafos manager Dmytro Mykhaylenko acknowledged Apollon’s quality and expressed his satisfaction with the result.

“We played well. We played a good game in the first half but there was a moment in the first half where we didn’t control the game and conceded the goal”, said Mykhaylenko.

“We pressed a lot and created chances and believed in our ability to win”, the Ukrainian manager added.

“This could be a golden point for us. It was important not to lose today to a very good team.”

Apollon are 3 points away from Anorthosis in second, while Pafos are seventh with 21 points.

Elsewhere today, AEK Larnaca grabbed a precious three points after a narrow victory over Karmiotissa.

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