Big wins for Doxa and Paralimni
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 2)
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|15-Mar-19||Ermis Aradippou||1 - 2||Paralimni|
|17-Mar-19||Pafos||0 - 1||Anorthosis|
|17-Mar-19||Alki Oroklini||1 - 4||Doxa Katokopias|
The battle for avoiding relegation rages on in the second group of the Cypriot First Division. Doxa Katokopias and Enosis Neon Paralimniou achieved important wins against Alki Oroklinis and Ermis Aradippou, respectively, while Pafos FC retreated into the relegation zone after suffering a narrow defeat to group leaders Anorthosis.
Paralimni visited the Ammochostos Stadium to face Ermis knowing that only a win would do against the group’s bottom team. The hosts, though, touched the goal early on as a beautiful solo effort from Giorgos Katsiatis was stopped by the post. Paralimni answered back with Chigozie Udoji who found himself in perfect striking position against Ioannis Firinidis, but produced the worst possible finish. In the 12th minute, it was the visitors who found the back of the net when Udoji sent a cross that was met by Minas Antoniou to open the scoring. Ermis came close to an equalizer, but Hovhannes Hambardzumyan stopped Gerasimos Fylaktou’s effort before the ball passed the goal line. Just before halftime, Konstantinos Petrou came up with a big save against Dimitar Makriev from point blank range, to send his team into the break with the lead.
Ermis found the equalizer just ten minutes into the second half as Paris Psaltis sent the cross from the right side, finding Enrique Boula who beat Petrou. Both teams then went on the attack in search of the go-ahead goal and that goal came in the 81st minute for Paralimni. Lorenzo Riera took the free kick and sent the ball through a gap in the defending wall leaving Firinidis helpless in the nrt.
Carit Falch’s team are now 3rd in the group, one and two points clear of Alki and Pafos FC, respectively. Ermis are stuck at the bottom of the table and could get mathematically relegated in two matchdays.
Another game at the Ammochostos Stadium was between the hosts Alki and the visiting Doxa. The home side struck first on seven minutes. A mistake by Doxa’s keeper, Armin Gremsl, allowed Ivan Carlos to steal the ball which reached Matija Spoljaric, who found the back of the net. The visitors, however, answered just four minutes later when Benjamin Asamoah sent the ball to Nils Zatl’s head and Urko Pardo could not completely stop the effort as Zatl made sure the ball crossed the goal line. Doxa turned the game around in the 25th minute as a nice pass from Asamoah found Paul Batin, who dribbled past Pardo to put Doxa ahead.
Being behind in the score, Alki came into the second half strong. Early efforts from El Hedi Belameiri and Spoljaric did not find the target and these efforts went begging as Doxa struck again in the 67th minute. Asamoah stole the ball from Franco Flores inside Alki’s penalty area and gave the assist to Ioannis Hadjivasilis, who netted one of the easiest goals of his career. Three minutes later, Luis Carlos headed a long ball from Joel Pereira into the net to put the icing on the cake in a big 4:1 win for Doxa.
The results moves Doxa into second place, level on points with Paralimni, as Alki retreated but remain a point clear of fifth placed Pafos FC.
Pafos FC hosted leaders of the group and the only team safe from relegation, Anorthosis, at the Stelios Kyriakidis Stadium. The home side looked more eager to find a goal and missed a great chance with Adam Nemec, who sent a beautiful shot onto Dimitris Dimitriou’s crossbar in the first half’s biggest moment.
Pafos kept pushing in the second half and the woodwork again stopped the hosts from scoring with an effort from Bryan Angulo. Despite having the majority of the efforts, Pafos could not threaten Dimitriou and in stoppage time, it was Anorthosis who stole victory as an unstoppable free kick from their captain, Joao Victor, found the back of the net. Pafos were the better side throughout the game but with the loss, retreated into the relegation spot.