Stalemate in Paphos, Win for APOEL, Salamina upset AEK Larnaca

Stalemate in Paphos, Win for APOEL, Salamina upset AEK Larnaca

CYPRUS FIRST DIVISION - ROUND 14

Date Home Team Score Away Team
22-Dec-18 Pafos 1 - 1 Apollon Limassol
22-Dec-18 APOEL 2 - 0 Ermis Aradippou
22-Dec-18 AEK Larnaca 0 - 1 Nea Salamina

Pafos FC and Apollon played to a surprise 1:1 draw, APOEL saw off Ermis Aradippou 2:0, and Nea Salamina upset AEK Larnaca 1:0.

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Pafos FC hosted Apollon at the Stelios Kyriakidis Stadium in Paphos. The visitors from Limassol had the first chance as Fotis Papoulis set up Anton Maglica, but Joel Mall made the save. Bryan Angulo set up a powerful header for Adam Nemec, but Bruno Vale did well to make the save on him. Mall made an innocent pass intended for Diego Zivulic, but Zivulic wasn’t paying attention, and the ball went to Sasa Markovic instead. Markovic was very grateful, and blasted the ball past Mall in the 31st minute to give Apollon the opening goal. The hosts responded quickly as a through ball found Andreas Panayiotou Filiotis, who in turn passed across for Nemec, no chance for Vale, and just three minutes later, it was all square. It should have been two for Nemec, but he missed a gaping net after a perfect service by Matija Sirok, and the halftime score was 1:1.

In the second half, Chambos Kyriakou tested Mall from long range, but Mall was up to it and parried it aside. The hosts worked a nice play as Nemec found Angulo who teed up Filiotis, but Vale stayed with the play and kept the ball out. Facundo Pereyra had a header on target, but it was right at Mall. On the last play of the match, Pereyra set up Adrian Sardinero, Mall made a great save and the rebound was cleared out, and the result was a 1:1 draw, a costly result for Apollon. Apollon remain in 3rd place and lose ground on APOEL, and possibly also AEL Limassol. Pafos remain in 9th.

At the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, it was APOEL hosting Ermis Aradippou. Leo Natel had the first good chance for APOEL, but Giorgos Papadopoulos denied him. APOEL continued to bombard the Ermis net, but it seemed like Ermis would escape without conceding, but then luck smiled upon APOEL as a corner yielded for them, the ball caromed off of Ivan Malon, who was charged with an own goal. On that bounce, APOEL led 1:0 at the half.

Ermis knew they’d been dominated in the opening 45 minutes, and came out with more urgency as Gerasimos Fylaktou bore down on the APOEL net, but Boy Waterman was ready for him, and made the save. The backbreaker came not long after, Natel played a through ball for Nuno Morais, not the greatest finish, but it snuck through the legs on Papadopoulos and gave APOEL the insurance marker. Sekou Keita had a chance in tight, Waterman made the save, the rebound was loose, but Fylaktou missed the open net. Waterman made another nice save on Giannis Taralidis, and APOEL hung on for a 2:0 win. An important win as well for APOEL, as for the first time this season, APOEL are in first place, although this is pending what AEL do tomorrow. Ermis are in last place.

AEK Larnaca hosted Nea Salamina at the Giorgos Karapatakis AEK Arena in Larnaca. Hector Hevel came knocking for the hosts but Robert Veselovsky was there to make the save. Anderson Correia went the other way and played in a cross for Kingsley Onuegbu, and with a powerful header, he beats Tono Ramirez and in the 16th minute, a shock opener for Salamina. AEK continued to carry the play otherwise, a ball careened off the referee Leontis Trattos right to Florian Taulemesse, but Veselovsky cleaned up that particular mess. Veselovsky also punched out a free kick off the boot of Jorge Larena, and Salamina were able to take their 1:0 lead into the halftime break.

The second half was more of the same, with AEK dominating, but Veselovsky having all the answers. Acoran had a header, Veselovsky was there. Pass across for Joan Tomas, Veselovsky stops him and leaves no rebound for Taulemesse who was parked in front of the net. He saved his best for last. In stoppage time, a twine-seeking missile from Onisiforos Roushias was batted away by the long arm of Veselovsky. The Slovakian goalkeeper was the hero in this one as Nea Salamina upset AEK Larnaca 1:0. Salamina rocket up to 4th place in what continues to be a surprising success of a season. AEK fall into 5th place, but with 2 games in hand on Salamina.

 

by Andreas Mantzas

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