Salamina Assure Safety, Olympiacos move closer to relegation

Salamina Assure Safety, Olympiacos move closer to relegation
 

CYPRIOT 1st DIV: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 6)

Date Home Team Score Apollon Smyrnis
14-Apr-18 Doxa Katokopias 5 - 0 Olympiakos Nic.
15-Apr-18 Pafos 1 - 2 Nea Salamina
16-Apr-18 Alki Oroklini 2 - 3 Ermis Aradippou

It was a critical juncture in the relegation group during matchday 6, which saw Doxa thrash Olympiakos 5:0 to put the Nicosia side on the doorstep of relegation. Salamina continued their good form with a 2:1 away win in Pafos and Ermis prevailed 3:2 over Alki.

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Doxa is without debate the best team in the relegation group and for some parts of the regular season campaign occupied 6th place, which was eventually taken by Omonoia, and hosted bottom of the table dwellers Olympiacos. Despite Olympiakos being on edge, Doxa dominated affairs at the Makareio stadium. Before the match was even fifteen minutes old, Francis Narh and Luis Carlos gave Doxa a two goal lead. After many wasted chances to extend the lead, Luis Carlos scored his second of the night for a 3:0 Doxa advantage in the 44th minute. 

Olympiakos recorded their first shots of the game in the early moments of the second half, however Sadik scored one more for Doxa in the 61st minute to continue the hosts’ domination of play. Three minutes later, Luis Carlos completed the hat-trick giving his side the emphatic 5:0 victory. As a result, Olympiacos still have a slim mathematical chance to avoid the drop, but sitting 9 points behind Pafos with four games remaining, it could all be a done deal next week. Doxa shined in a game that they did not have much to play for, while Olympiakos did not show any sign of fighting spirit and easily fell to a better opponent. 


HIGHLIGHTS: DOXA KATOKOPIAS - OLYMPIAKOS NICOSIA

Salamina came from behind and escaped with a 2:1 away victory from Pafos FC. The home side scored first in the 10th minute, after Kevin Berigaud moved in the heart of Salamina’s defence and headed a ball from Ante Rogulic into Mario Kirev’s net. Two minutes later in a repeat of the goal moments before, Pafos came close but Berigaud saw his header hit Kirev’s left post. With the completion of forty five minutes, Eloundou saw his shot stopped by Pafos defenders, the ball reached Carlao whose shot was also blocked, but Carlao passed the ball to Ioannis Kosti who managed to bring the equaliser sending the game into halftime at 1:1. 

Pafos started strong in the second half looking to regain the lead. Boy Deul had a big chance but was unable to pass Kirev, who stopped him while entering his penalty area in the 48th minute. The pace slowed down as the half progressed, however Salamina was the team to claim victory late on. In the 88th minute, Carlao got the rebound from a reflected shot by Kostis to give his team the three points. With this result, Salamina mathematically assure safety, while Pafos can do the same next week holding a 9 point lead from last place Olympiakos. 
 

HIGHLIGHTS: PAFOS - NEA SALAMINA

Ermis were winners in a dramatic 5-goal thriller over Alki. Captain Giannis Taralidis put Ermis in front in the 15th minute and eight minutes later, Alki touched the equaliser, but Jean Pierazzi’s effort hit Giannis Arampatzis post. In the 26th minute, Geoffrey Malfleury forced Arampatzis to an important save and then moments later, a power outage temporarily stopped the game. Duventru was brought down in the penalty area on the half hour mark, and Alki’s Pierazzi successfully converted for the equaliser. However, Ermis had the final say in the first half, with Fred Tsoumou scoring before half time to give Ermis the lead at 2:1.

Alki returned in the second half with a goal from the locker rooms with Chafik Tigroudja equalising again for the home side. But the scoring was not done there as Alfonso Artabe’s 58th minute penalty re-gave Ermis the lead at 3:2. Duventru won another penalty for the hosts, but this time Arampatzis stopped Malfleury’s effort to keep the score 3:2. In the 75th minute. Duventru was miraculously awarded his third penalty of the night, but again, Alki were unable to score as Nasir Maachi saw his shot hit the post. Ermis held onto the lead comfortably in the last stages of the game and celebrated the three points. Alki, who failed to convert two penalties into goals, are 4th in the group while Ermis sit 2nd just a point behind leaders Doxa. 
 

HIGHLIGHTS: ALKI OROKLINI - ERMIS ARADIPPOU

 
by Marios Antoniou
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