APOEL defeat rivals Omonoia to stay top of the table
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 1)
|Omonia||0 - 2||APOEL|
APOEL started off the Cypriot Playoffs on a positive note with a 2:0 win over rivals Omonoia at the GSP Stadium and continue to lead the standings.
The first half started with some rough play as APOEL’s Ghayas Zahid and Mickael Pote picked up yellow cards just 10 minutes into the game. The match proceeded at a mediocre pace and fans waited until the 40th minute for some real action, when Pote’s header hit the post and stayed out. The unenteriating first half ended goalless with the eternal enemies failing to provide their fans with a performance worthy of their respectable names.
The second half would provide much better action and just two minutes after the restart, Omonoia’s Andreas Christodoulou denied Giorgos Merkis’ header from Zahid’s free-kick, to keep Omonoia level. APOEL improved as the match went on and Sallai had a good effort in the 60th minute, but his strike went wide. Two minutes later, the defending champions found the breakthrough as Lucas Souza headed Zahid’s corner kick into Christodoulou’s net for the 1:0 APOEL lead.
Despite falling behind in the score, Omonoia pressed on and went on the offensive in hopes of finding an equaliser. An effort from Jarcinho Antonia found the outer side of Nauzet Perez’s net in the 68th minute and five minutes later, Omonoia created their best chance of the match, with Matt Derbyshire’s header going over the crossbar. Vyntra wa also off the mark with his header in the 80th minute, which was Omonoia’s final chance of the match.
In the final minutes of the game, Omonoia left lots of space to their opponents and Guilherme Delatorre put the icing on the cake as he received a beautiful ball from Tommy Oar to form the final scoreline in second half stoppage time.
With the win, APOEL kept their two point advantage over second placed Apollon and moved nine and twelve points clear of Anorthosis and AEK Larnaka, respectively. Omonoia are stuck back in 6th, four points behind AEL Limassol.