AEK Larnaca roll over Enosis, Salamina and Alki play to draw
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - ROUND 22
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|24-Feb-19||Nea Salamina||1 - 1||Alki Oroklini|
|24-Feb-19||AEK Larnacas||3 - 0||Paralimni|
AEK Larnaca recorded an easy win over Enosis Neon Paralimni by a 3:0 count, while Nea Salamina and Alki Oroklini played to a 1:1 draw.
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AEK Larnaca hosted Enosis Neon Paralimni at the Giorgos Karapatakis AEK Arena in Larnaca. The first half was fairly uneventful. Enosis had a chance on a corner that was blocked off by Ivan Trickovski, and at the other end, Jorge Larena used his speed to create a chance for himself, but ultimately skied his strike over the net. The first half produced no scoring and it was 0:0 at the halftime break .
The second half was a far different story. Igor Silva sped through the Enosis defense and managed to draw a penalty. Larena stepped up to take it and sent Boris Klaiman the wrong way, and in the 53rd minute, the ice was finally broken. From there, the floodgates opened up. In the 65th minute, Trickovski and Larena worked a play that set up Dani Aquino, who hit it first time and beat Klaiman low to make it 2:0. In stoppage time, the hosts rubbed salt in the open wound as a back pass intended for Klaiman went awry and Trickovski collected the easy goal, to make the final score 3:0 in favor of AEK Larnaca. The Larnaca side finish the regular season in fourth place and are headed for the playoff group. Enosis finish in tenth place in the regular season and will enter the relegation group.
We stay in Larnaca where Nea Salamina hosted Alki Oroklini at Stadio Ammochostos. Salamina had the first good chance as Konstantinos Mintikkis set up Charles Eloundou, but the shot narrowly missed the far post. At the other end, Alki had a corner, and they made it count as El Hedi Belameiri hit a wide open Ivan Carlos, who blasted a shot that hit the inside of the post and into the net past Robert Veselovsky, giving Alki a surprise lead in the 17th minute. On the half hour mark, Salamina repaid the favor with a corner of their own, as the corner found Ivan Fustar, and he beat Urko Pardo to make it 1:1. Belameiri nearly restored the Alki advantage, but Veselovsky did very well to kick his shot aside. The halftime score remained 1:1.
The second half was played at a much slower pace. Mintikkis hit the crossbar, but otherwise, there wasn’t much to note after the restart. In general, Salamina carried the play but the Alki defense held up the pressure. Mintikkis had another attempt that never made it to Pardo, and the last chance to break the deadlock flew over the net with Daniel Sikorski’s strike that buzzed the crossbar. In the end, Nea Salamina and Alki Oroklini cancelled each other out with a 1:1 draw.
This means Salamina end up being the beneficiary of the Francis Uzoho scandal, which saw Anorthosis get docked nine points. Without that, Salamina would have finished in a points tie with Omonoia and missed the playoffs on goal differential. Instead, they finish sixth and indeed take the final playoff spot and will compete with the elite for the remainder of the season, quite an accomplishment for the club. Alki finish the regular season in eleventh place and are off to the relegation group. They are seven points clear of last placed Ermis Aradippou, but a point behind Enosis. They will have quite the battle to avoid finishing eleventh or twelfth, which would spell relegation.