AEL hold APOEL to goalless draw among chaotic scenes
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - MATCHDAY 15
|AEL Limassol||0 - 0||APOEL|
AEL Limassol and APOEL Nicosia played out a goalless draw at the Tsirion Stadium, but the Cypriot First Division match will be remembered for all of the wrong reasons.
It was billed to be a hugely important clash between two title contenders, but the occasion was spoiled by the minority of supporters. In the 39th minute, the APOEL fans appeared to throw a firecracker which struck an AEL ball-boy. The victim was immediately transported to hospital, while referee Demetris Mashias naturally called the game off temporarily.
Following a 30-minute break, the match did restart. However, little did the referee know that more trouble was around the corner. Rival supporters managed to get on the running track surrounding the pitch, hurling flares at each other. Riot police did defuse the situation, but the match was halted for a second time.
Despite everyone expecting that the game was going to be abandoned, Mashias decided to continue playing after a lengthy pause which allowed the ultras fans to leave the ground. Given the long stoppage, the teams played out the final minutes of the first half and immediately began the second.
When the football did eventually resume, APOEL had the best chances in Limassol. Mickael Pote contrived to blaze over the bar at point blank range, before Ghayas Zahid side-footed wide with the goal at his mercy. AEL midfielder Aldair missed the hosts’ only real scoring opportunity, lashing off target when inside the box.
With this 0:0 result, AEL and APOEL stay locked on 27 points in joint fourth position. Nevertheless, APOEL do have a game in hand