Omonoia top AEL to sneak into playoffs
CYPRIOT 1st DIVISION - MATCHDAY 22
|Omonia||2 - 0||AEL Limassol|
Omonoia have done it! Despite a trying season, they have earned a 2:0 win at home to AEL Limassol, and earlier today, Anorthosis had their appeal denied for a scandal we reported on in a previous article relating to Francis Uzoho.
With Anorthosis’ 9 point penalty being upheld by the Cyprus Football Association, Omonoia hosted AEL Limassol at the GSP Stadium in Nicosia, needing a point to finish off Anorthosis and qualify for the playoffs. Jarchinio Antonia worked a nice play with Leandro Silva and pulled up for a shot, but it was caught and held by Konstantinos Panagi. Nils Teixeira found himself in space but airmailed his shot over the net. AEL were more ready to go, but couldn’t make it count. After Abdul Ajagun missed the net off an Omonoia corner, AEL came again and set up Andreas Makris, but he too missed the net. The breakthrough came in the 36th minute, a long ball from Jordi Gomez caught the AEL defense flat-footed, and David Ramirez won the race to the ball. He let fly from the edge of the box, and buried it into the top corner past Patryk Procek. Before halftime, Ramirez found himself alone with Procek again, but this time it was from an angle, and Procek kicked it aside. Nonetheless, Omonoia took a 1:0 lead into the halftime break.
At halftime, Omonoia had to make a change in goal for injury reasons, as Tomas Mejias replaced Panagi. AEL began the second half on the attack and Makris tried to surprise Mejias at the near post, but he just narrowly missed the net. Dimitris Kolovos dribbled through a maze of AEL players and muscled his way into the open, but could only shoot directly at Procek in the end. Marinos Tzionis found himself in space, but rushed his shot and it sailed over the net. Tzionis redeemed himself in the 62nd minute, though. With sheer hustle, he managed to strip the ball from Christos Wheeler, setting up Ajagun in tight. Procek made the first save, but Ramirez was right there to pounce on the rebound for his second goal of the match, and he gave Omonoia a critical insurance marker. Wheeler looked for Ruben Jurado, but Mejias caught the cross before he could get there. In the end, neither Omonoia keeper was beaten, and Omonoia earned a very satisfying 2:0 win at home to AEL Limassol. Omonoia actually improves to 5th place, again guaranteed to finish in the top 6 with Anorthosis’s points penalty. They can remain in 5th place if Nea Salamina loses or draws tomorrow at home to Alki Oroklini. AEL are in that playoff group too, they will finish the regular season in 3rd place. They are a point behind APOEL and 2 points behind stadium mates Apollon, who were also awarded 3 points in the Uzoho scandal, as they were the team Uzoho played against that filed the complaint to begin with.