Wins for Doxa, Pafos, Alki in Relegation Playoff Openers
CYPRIOT 1st DIV.: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 1)
|Date||Home Team||Score||Apollon Smyrnis|
|3-Mar-18||Olympiakos N.||0 - 1||Doxa Katokopias|
|4-Mar-18||Ermis Aradippou||0 - 1||Alki Oroklini|
|4-Mar-18||Nea Salamina||1 - 3||Pafos|
AGONAsport’s Marios Antonious & Andreas Mantzas recap this weekend's action in the Cypriot First Division relegation playoff group.
With a 1:0 scoreline, Doxa sank Olympiakos deeper towards relegation while the visitors cemented their lead in the relegation playoff group. Olympiakos, being the team that needed points, started off as the better side, but failed to score as Torres’ header was denied by Gremsl in the 17th minute. As the match went on, Doxa started gaining ground and at the half hour mark, Doxa opened the scoring with Asamoah. Two minutes later, Olympiakos came close to equalising, but Gremsl steadily denied Sotiriou’s header. In the second half, Doxa had two big chances to increase their lead, however in both cases, Zatl and Sadik were unable to find the back of the net. Olympiakos were unable to find a leveler and tasted defeat in their first battle to avoid relegation and now trail Nea Salamina by four points at the bottom of the group.
Alki gained some breathing room from the drop zone with a 1:0 win over Ermis, to stay six points clear of last placed Olympiakos. Ermis had the first big chance of the game in the 11th minute with Urko Pardo lucky to block Emeghara shot. Malfleury responded for Alki as his effort shook Arampatzis’ crossbar just after the half hour mark. The breakthrough came in the 64th minute when Fabricio’s diving header could not be stopped by Arampatzis, giving Alki the 1:0 lead. Ermis looked for an equalizer, but efforts from Martynyuk and Taralidis went wide and Alki held onto victory at the final whistle. Despite the loss, Ermis hold 2nd spot in the group, ten points clear from relegation trouble.
Nea Salamina hosted Pafos FC at the Stadio Ammochostos in Larnaca with the visitors walking away with a 3:1 victory. The home side drew first blood 20 minutes in, when a loose ball in the box took a ricochet, and Carlao found it first, and with a clever back heel, beat Jan Koprivec. It seemed as though Salamina would take this lead into the half, but with just seconds remaining in stoppage time, a stunning volley by Daniel Sikorski levelled the score for Pafos. Early in the second half, Pafos gained momentum from their strong ending to the first half, and Sikorski found the net once again on a through ball, beating Robert Veselovsky low to the far post three minutes after the restart. Then Sikorski turned to his passing game, and found Christian Bruls, to seal the deal for the visitors midway through the half. Pafos held on for the 3:1 win as they remain in 9th, while Salamina fall to 11th, only 4 points clear of relegation.