Triumph for Salamina and Apollon, Anguish for Omonoia

Triumph for Salamina and Apollon, Anguish for Omonoia

CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - ROUND 18

Date Home Team Score Away Team
26-Jan-19 Nea Salamis 1 - 0 Ermis Aradippou
26-Jan-19 Apollon Limassol 2 - 0 Doxa Katokopias
26-Jan-19 Pafos 1 - 0 Omonia

Nea Salamina moved one step closer to a surprise playoff spot with a 1:0 win at home to Ermis Aradippou. Apollon stay in the title hunt with a 2:0 win at home to Doxa Katokopias, and Omonoia suffer what could be a crushing 1:0 away defeat at the hands of Pafos FC.

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Nea Salamina hosted Ermis Aradippou at the Stadio Ammochostos in Larnaca. A bad turnover nearly sandbagged the hosts early, as Dimitar Makriev rifled a shot, but Robert Veselovsky came to the rescue with an acrobatic save. Makriev had another go from point blank range, but once again Veselovsky was there. Instead on the half hour mark, Salamina broke through, Kingsley Onuegbu played a through ball for Roman Golobart, who on a long run all the way from midfield went untouched and then beat Giannis Arabatzis low. Anderson Correia nearly doubled that but Arabatzis made a nice save. Things got even worse when Ioannis Kosti earned a penalty. Onuegbu took the penalty, but Arabatzis guessed correctly and kept it out, and limited the halftime lead for the hosts to just 1:0.

In the second half, Ermis sought to equalize, Arabatzis’s heroics having kept them in it. Unfortunately, for all the possession they had, they couldn’t trouble Veselovsky any further. Salamina conversely sought the insurance marker, but Arabatzis denied Charles Eloundou and a header from Onuegbu. Nonetheless, Golobart’s individual effort stood up and delivered the 1:0 home win for Salamina over Ermis. Salamina move into 4th place in the standings. Ermis fall into last place.

Apollon hosted Doxa Katokopias at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol. Facundo Pereyra nearly scored seconds into the match, but didn’t get all the power he wanted on it, and Armin Gremsl made the save. They didn’t have to wait long, however, Emilio Zelaya passed into the box and with a sliding finish, Anton Maglica beats Gremsl for the opening goal in just the second minute. In the 28th minute, Joao Pedro played in a corner that found the head of Zelaya, and the next stop for the ball was the back of the net, 2:0 for Apollon. Zelaya wanted another goal and had a shout for a penalty as Gremsl fell on top of him away from the ball, but the Austrian keeper got away with it, no penalty, and the score remained 2:0 at the half.

Early in the second half, Yevhen Pavlov tried to spark a comeback with a powerful strike, but Bruno Vale bested him with a fantastic save. They came knocking again when Valentin Roberge took Pavlov down in the box, and a penalty was given. Bogdan Mitrea stepped up to take it, but Vale came out on top, he guessed correctly, and dove out to stop it. From then on, the hosts controlled the match, Gremsl denied Adrian Sardinero and Fotis Papoulis, but Apollon still earned a 2:0 win at home to Doxa Katokopias. Apollon move into 2nd, just a point behind APOEL, but APOEL have a game in hand. Doxa remain in 8th.

At the Stelios Kyriakidis Stadium in Paphos, it was Pafos FC hosting Omonoia. The hosts could not have asked for a better start. Federico Rasic was taken down by Loukas Vyntra and a penalty was awarded. Adam Nemec stepped up and blasted the penalty into the top corner past Tomas Mejias, and in just the 4th minute, it was 1:0 for Pafos. Omonoia tried to respond, David Ramirez from well out took a shot that Joel Mall took care of. Dimitris Kolovos gave it a go, but it was right at Mall. Omonoia dominated the play, but could not change the fact that Pafos led 1:0 at the halftime break.

More of the same frustration in the second half, Mall sprawled out to deny Charis Mavrias from in tight. Abdul Ajagun took a shot that Mall saved, the rebound came to Kolovos, but he couldn’t pull the trigger. Jordi Gomez tested Mall from distance, but Mall managed to keep it out. Then with an even better save, Mall denied Kolovos again. On the final play of the match, Vyntra tried to avenge his early mistake with a header, but it went just wide, and Pafos hung on for dear life, and got the 1:0 home win over Omonoia. A valuable 3 points for Pafos, after their point deduction last week, they move out of last place into 11th. Omonoia remain in 7th, last week’s optimism of moving into the top 6 severely damaged by this loss.

 

by Andreas Mantzas

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