Deadlock in Larnaca, AEK hand Omonoia 11th straight defeat
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 8)
|AEK Larnaca||2 - 0||Omonia|
|Taulemesse (P) 24'
Anorthosis and AEL played to a scoreless halt, and AEK helped themselves to a 2:0 home win over the whipping boy of this playoff group, Omonoia.
AEK Larnaca hosted Omonoia at the Giorgos Karapatakis AEK Arena in Larnaca with Omonoia continuing to experiment with their lineup under Jesper Fredberg and went with the young Andreas Christodoulou in goal for this one. The hosts had all of the early jump against what seemed to be a defeated, disinterested, indifferent Omonoia side for whom the end of the season can’t come fast enough. Ivan Trickovski had a good chance 15 minutes in, but Christodoulou did well to cut down the angle and make the save. Minutes later, Trickovski had the ball in the box again, and he was hauled down in the box by William, and a penalty was given. Florian Taulemesse stepped up to take it, and sent Christodoulou the wrong way for a 1:0 lead for AEK. The ball continued to stay in the Omonoia end, but Christodoulou kept his side in it with a save on Acoran, and the score remained 1:0 at the half.
In the second half, Trickovski came knocking again, but Christodoulou robbed him again with a nifty save at full extension. Fifty five minutes in, AEK keeper Juan Pablo finally had something to do, as he mishandled an innocent shot from Matt Derbyshire, but the rebound was cleared away from harm. As great as Christodoulou was playing, some good ball movement opened up the net for Acoran, for a shot that even Christodoulou was unable to stopp and it was 2:0 for the hosts. In the end, Omonoia’s energy level was virtually nonexistent as it had been the entire match, and the 2:0 final score really doesn’t do it justice. Omonoia have only their young keeper to thank that it wasn’t even worse.
|Anorthosis||0 - 0||AEL Limassol|
Elsewhere in Larnaca at the Stadio Antonis Papadopoulos, Anorthosis hosted AEL Limassol. Possession was fairly even throughout the first half, but neither side could threaten the goal, or even hit the target. The best chance fell to Ruben Rayos, who attempted to chip the AEL keeper Vozinha, but the ball sailed harmlessly over the net as it remained scoreless at halftime.
In the second half, a chance came from Marios Elia, but it was seen all the way by Anorthosis keeper Ariel Harush. In general, Anorthosis had most of the ball in the second half, and Michal Duris had one last chance to give his side the three points, but the ball skittered through the box and wide of the goal, preserving the goalless stalemate.
The point earned by Anorthosis was just enough to keep them in 3rd place, a point behind them in 4th are AEK, but both received good news as they mathematically clinched their places in European qualifying for next season. This means AEL will finish in 5th while Omonoia will finish 6th as their losing streak increased to 11 games!