-- CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION (MATCHDAY 25 RECAP) --
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - MATCHDAY 25
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|25-Feb-17||Anagennisi D.||0 - 0||Zakakiou|
|25-Feb-17||Omonia||4 - 1||AEL Limassol|
|25-Feb-17||Doxa||3 - 1||Aris Limassol|
|26-Feb-17||Ermis||2 - 3||AEK Larnaca|
|26-Feb-17||Ethnikos Achnas||0 - 0||Nea Salamis|
|26-Feb-17||Karmiotissa||1 - 4||Anorthosis|
|27-Feb-17||Apollon||2 - 0||APOEL|
Marios Antoniou from AGONAsport.com brings you a full recap of Matchday 25 in the Cypriot First Division. For the current Cypriot First Division standings and full schedule click here . Highlights for each match can be found here...
The opening game of the 25th week was also the one that confirmed who will be on their way back to the 2nd Division. The goalless draw between Anagennisi and Zakakiou ended their hopes for survival and both teams are mathematically relegated. AEZ had its inaugural season in the 1st division, while Anagennisi confirmed why they are called an elevator team, switching between promotion and relegation each season.
The first derby of the week was a big one for the Prasinoi of Lefkosia as Omonia defeated AEL Limassol 4-1. It was a great debut for new manager Akis Ioakeim. AEL’s defensive problems allowed Omonoia to score 4 goals before the 60th minute with Cleyton (2), Christophi, and Derbyshire. AEL’s performance was very hypotonic and they only managed to score a late consolation goal with Sassi. AEL is now 4th, 9 points behind first placed APOEL, as Omonia pulled within one point of AEL.
Doxa recorded a big 3-1 win over Aris Limassol in the derby of the lower half of the table. This win combined with the draw between Anagennisi and AEZ gave Doxa the opportunity to fight for survival in the postseason relegation round. For Doxa, the goals came from Alvarez, Braulio, and Corominas, while Martins scored Aris’ only goal from the penalty spot. Aris are still 11th but the difference from 12th placed Doxa is now 4 points.
AEK managed to escape with an important 2-3 win on the road against Ermis. The Larnakeis took a 3 goal lead with Trickovski (2) and Hevel, however Ermis proved a harder opponent. Early in the second half, a penalty was given to the hosts while Laban received a red card leaving AEK with 10 players. De Melo turned the penalty into a goal and a few minutes later, Bouwman scored again for the fteropodaroi, cutting AEK’s lead to one goal. There was life back into the game with both teams wasting multiple chances to score, however AEK held on to the win that keeps them 3rd in the standings, just a point behind second placed Apollon. The result leaves Ermis to competed in the postseason relegation round.
The 2nd goalless draw of the week came between Ethnikos and Salamina a result that leaves both teams to compete in the postseason relegation round alongside Ermis, Karmiotissa, Aris, and Doxa.
Anorthosis completed the comeback from their rocky start to the season, securing 6th place and a spot in the championship playoff group with their easy 1-4 win over Karmiotissa. Alves, Rayos (2), and Oliveira scored for the visitors in game that saw Roni Levi’s squad put together a very good performance. Karmiotissa only manage to score through Adamovic and they will compete in the postseason relegation group..
The last and most important game of the week brought new dynamics to the top of the table as second placed Apollon Limassol defeated APOEL 2-0. Just a few days after their emphatic victory over Bilbao in the Europa League, APOEL were brought back from cloud nine. Apollon were much better in the opening half and a goal from Maglica just before halftime gave them an important lead. The second half was a different story as APOEL persisted for an equalizer but the visitors wasted important chances. This allowed Apollon to secure all three points as Joao Pedro scored his side’s second goal on the night to give the hosts a 2-0 victory. Despite the loss, APOEL are still leading the table, however Apollon are now just 3 points behind the galazokitrini, adding a new exciting touch to the championship race.