APOEL fight back to defeat Apollon Limassol
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - MATCHDAY 22
|Apollon Limassol||1 - 2||APOEL|
APOEL Nicosia claimed a hugely important victory in the Cypriot First Division, defeating Apollon 2:1 in Limassol to move into first place.
The visitors had dropped a surprisingly large 0:4 defeat to Apollon in Nicosia recently, but APOEL recovered to defeat the former league leaders at the Tsirion Stadium.
On a three-match winning streak, Apollon predictably began the match on the front foot. The pressure gradually increased on the APOEL goal as the first half wore on, eventually resulting in the deadlock being broken. A low pass towards the penalty area found the lunging Anton Maglica, who slid the ball into the net with the help of the right post. Alef could have doubled Apollon’s money, but seconds after his bullet header was saved, APOEL equalised. In the dying moments of stoppage time in the opening 45, Ghayas Zahid took aim from distance and curled a stunning effort beyond Apollon goalkeeper Bruno Vale.
APOEL struck the crucial goal seven minutes into the second half. Bruno Vale came flying out from his line to collect a floating corner, allowing Emilio Nsue to bundle the ball into the unguarded net. Zahid came close to increasing APOEL’s lead in the latter stages, firing inches wide with the Apollon defence out of position.
The away team made life hard for themselves late on, as defender Giorgios Merkis received a second yellow card. Apollon’s Alex da Silva lashed a rising free-kick against the crossbar, but APOEL held on to earn an important victory. As a result, APOEL now occupy first place in the standings, two points ahead of second placed Apollon.