Alki jump ahead of Salamina, 9-point cushion for Pafos FC
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 5)
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|3-Apr-18||Alki Oroklini||1 - 0||Nea Salamis|
|4-Apr-18||Pafos||1 - 0||Doxa Katokopias|
|5-Apr-18||Ermis Aradippou||3 - 2||Ol. Nicosia|
Matchday 5 of the Cypriot First Division relegation group also took place during the midweek. Alki Oroklini won at home to Nea Salamina 1:0, Pafos FC won by the same scoreline at home to Doxa Katokopias, and Ermis Aradippou knocked off Olympiakos Nicosia 3:2.
Alki Oroklini took on Nea Salamina in Larnaca. Alki nearly scored 5 minutes in as Geoffrey Malfleury’s free kick rang off the bar. Both sides continued to trade chances and possession but had trouble hitting the target, and there was no score at halftime. In the second half, Alki almost broke through again, as Malfluery caught Salamina keeper Mario Kirev out of his position, but his centering pass went back through the box with nobody there to tap it in. Finally, a headed pass by Malfleury touched down in the penalty area and Chafik Tigroudja latched onto the loose ball, firing it past Kirev for the 1:0 lead in the 61st minute. Salamina pressed for an equalizer, however they continued to struggle with accuracy as Carlao had a strike that went just wide. In stoppage time, the visitors had two good chances for leveler with Farshad Noor’s shot, which was blocked by Padro, before Charles Eloundou’s effort was once again saved by Pardo and the goalkeeper had his defense to thank as they cleared away the loose ball rebound. To the delight of the home fans, Alki hung on for a 1:0 win.
In Paphos, Pafos FC hosted Doxa Katokopias. There was good end to end action to start the match, but once again, neither side could hit the target. Kevin Berigaud managed to get an effort on target 25 minutes in, but Armin Gremsl was there to make the save. Less than 10 minutes later, a bolt from the blue put the hosts ahead. A stunning strike from Ante Roguljic from a long way outside the box curled into the top corner, leaving absolutely no chance for Gremsl, and the home side took a 1:0 lead into the halftime break. Doxa managed to generate pressure, but not many chances in the second half, with Vasilis Papafotis’ effort on goal, which was saved with ease by Jan Koprivec, proving to be the best chance of the half for the visitors. Otherwise, it was an easy day for Pafos’ Koprivec and the hosts saw their 1:0 victory through.
Back to Larnaca where Ermis Aradippou hosted Olympiakos Nicosia. The hosts drew first blood in the 13th minute through Juvhel Tsoumou, whose header overpowered Isli Hidi. The visitors responded thirteen minutes later as a cross came into the box, Miguelito did well to control the ball with his chest and calmly finished the chance past Giannis Arabatzis. There was no further scoring in the opening 45 minutes of play and the score remained 1:1 at halftime. In the second half, the hosts regained their lead as a ball deflected to Yaroslav Martynyuk who with a low, well-placed strike from outside the box, beat Hidi and restored the Ermis advantage in the 52nd minute. In stoppage time, Alexandros Konstantinou put the game to bed when he was left all alone in the box and went for the style points by dribbling around Hidi and parking the ball in the net. Luca Polizzi would pull one back with a nice free kick goal, but the visitors knew they were out of time and Ermis recorded the 3:2 victory.
As a result of this action, Doxa remain in 7th place, Ermis are in 8th, and Alki leapfrogg Salamina into 9th (Salamina fall to 10th). Eleventh place Pafos FC benefited the most from the midweek results as they now have a 9 point cushion clear of the 12th place drop zone occupied by Olympiakos Nicosia.