Apollon stay alive, Anorthosis hand Omonoia another defeat
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 9)
|Apollon Limassol||0 - 0||AEK Larnaca|
The final week of Cyprus First Division playoff action will have some excitement thanks to Apollon’s 3:0 win at home to AEK Larnaca. Meanwhile, Anorthosis handed Omonoia a 12th consecutive loss by a 2:1 margin.
Apollon hosted AEK Larnaca at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol knowing that only a win could keep their hopes alive for moving first on the last matchday. The home side drew first blood within two minutes as Andrian Sardinero beat Antonis Giorgallidis. Apollon controlled the game and in the 29th minute, their captain Fotis Papoulis received the ball, after a beautiful passing game from his teammates, to double his team’s lead. Three minutes later, Anton Maglica almost made it 3:0 for Apollon, but his effort went just wide of Giorgallidis’ post. AEK’s sole chance in the first half came in the 35th minute when Ivan Trickovski’s shot went over Bruno Vale’s crossbar as Apollon went into half-time with a comfortable 2:0 lead.
Apollon continued like the first half after the restart, however they lacked the goals that came easily earlier on. Despite having a goal called back in the 74th minute wrongfully for offsides, Apollon finally found the third goal that they were looking for in second half stoppage time. A cross from Alex Da Silva was sent by Daniel Mojsov into his team’s net to form the final 3:0 scoreline.
|Anorthosis||2 - 1||Omonia|
Meanwhile in Larnaca, Anorthosis hosted Omonoia. Anorthosis started well, and from a corner, a powerful header from Michal Duris forced an equally good save from Andreas Christodoulou. The hosts would continue to enjoy the ball, but all that possession didn’t translate to anything and there was no score at halftime.
That all changed in the second half as Carlitos made a run along the goal line, and none of the Omonoia defense spotted Duris cutting through the slot, he fired past a helpless Christodoulou for the breakthrough. Minutes later, Omonoia had trouble clearing the ball out of the box, and was turned over to Ruben Rayos, who made the hosts pay as they took a 2:0 lead. After falling behind by two goals, Omonoia woke up and Nikolai Kipiani fired off a good shot, but Ariel Harush was able to knock it down for his defense to clear. Then from a free kick, the visitors got on the board through Matt Derbyshire, whose header was just out of reach for Harush. In stoppage time, a last chance for Omonoia came in the form of another strong header from Derbyshire, but this time Harush was there to make the save, and Anorthosis hung on for the 2:1 win.
Apollon remain alive in their title quest going into the final week as they remain in 2nd place, just one point behind leaders APOEL. Anorthosis remain in 3rd while Omonoia are locked into 6th place and their disaster of a season continues with their 12th straight loss.