AEL gain ground with win over Salamina

AEL gain ground with win over Salamina

CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - MATCHDAY 21

Date Home Team Score Away Team
17-Feb-19 AEL Limassol 3 - 2 Nea Salamina
17-Feb-19 Doxa Katokopias 1 - 1 Ermis

AEL Limassol earned an important 3:2 home win over Nea Salamina, while Doxa Katokopias and Ermis Aradippou played to a 1:1 draw.

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AEL Limassol hosted Nea Salamina at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol. It was actually Salamina who drew first blood, as a free kick from the side was headed in by Ivan Fustar in the 11th minute, past Patryk Procek. AEL were undaunted, and Leandro Silva answered by firing a free kick past Robert Veselovsky, all square at 1:1. This inspired AEL and they kept bringing the heat. In the 28th minute, they struck again, as Christos Wheeler was knocked down, but from the ground still got the ball to Silva, who blasted the shot past Veselovsky to give AEL their first lead. AEL continued to dominate, but an unlikely plot twist in the 44th minute would change the halftime narrative. Kingsley Onuegbu found Thiago, who got his shot through a maze and players and surprised Procek. Against the run of play, Salamina levelled the score at 2:2 going into the halftime break.

In the second half, the seesaw affair continued, as Nestoras Mytidis found Jarchinio Antonia, who slid the finish past Veselovsky in the 52nd minute, restoring the AEL advantage. Salamina tried to answer, but Charles Eloundou missed the target after a good play by Thiago. Eloundou had another miss on a counter rush following a good save by Veselovsky on Andreas Makris. Eloundou finally did get one on net, a curling strike labelled for the bottom corner, but Procek bested him diving out at full extension to make the save. Salamina valiantly fought for the final 38 minutes, but could not get the goal they needed. AEL hung on for the 3:2 win, and it’s an important one, as well. AEL are in 2nd place, and now just one point behind APOEL who drew yesterday. Costly loss for Salamina, too. They could have clinched an unlikely playoff spot with a win. Instead, with one week to go in the regular season, they play at home to Alki Oroklini, two points clear of 7th place Omonoia.

Doxa Katokopias hosted Ermis Aradippou at the Makario Stadio in Nicosia. The first half didn’t produce much. Yaroslav Martynyuk did force a save from Armin Gremsl, and Luis Carlos forced a save from Giannis Arabatzis. Otherwise, it was a scoreless first half. In the 57th minute, Bogdan Mitrea took a free kick that deflected off the wall and in, the goal was credited to Mitrea anyway, and Doxa had a 1:0 lead. It looked like the goal would stand up, but on the last play of the match, Martynyuk was hauled down in the box, and a penalty was given. Giannis Taralidis converted past Gremsl, and the result was a 1:1 draw between Doxa Katokopias and Ermis Aradippou. Doxa remain in 8th place, Ermis are in last, they have a lot of work to do in the relegation group.

 

by Andreas Mantzas

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