Al-Taamari gives APOEL win over Omonoia
CYPRIOT 1st DIVISION (MATCHDAY 13)
|Omonia||1 - 2||APOEL|
|Gomez 29'||Al Taamari 66',69'|
APOEL increased their winning streak to three after a big comeback win over their eternal enemies Omonoia. In the GSP Stadium which they share, Omonoia grabbed the lead, but two goals from Musa Al-Taamari propelled the defending champions to the win.
The eternal derby started with both teams playing open, but APOEL had the majority of possession early on. In the 17th minute, Konstantinos Panagi made a big save on a free kick from Tomas De Vincenti and four minutes later, Panagi was there again to stop Emilio Nsue, who received the ball after a set play. In the 26th minute, De Vincenti beautifully served a ball to Ghayas Zahid, who was unable to beat the Omonoia custodian.
While APOEL looked to have the upper hand, Omonoia were the ones who struck first. In the 28th minute, Jordi Gomez stole the ball from Nuno Morais in the midfield and went on the counter, he quickly spotted Boy Waterman away from his net and successfully chipped him to give Omonoia the lead. After the initial blow and towards the end of the half, APOEL brought the pressure once again. Panagi was there to first stop a shot from De Vincenti in the 38th minute and also in the 41st minute as Zahid dribbled in the heart of Omonoia’s defense, in what was APOEL’s biggest chance in the first half.
The second half started with Omonoia looking to hold their lead while APOEL searched for the equalizer. In the 66th minute, a backheel pass from Nsue, after a ball from Zahid, proved to be the perfect assist to Al-Taamari who managed to beat Panagi. It took Al-Taamari just two minutes to strike again. The Jordanian dribbled through the entire Omonoia defense and in the middle of five Omonoia players, his effort found the back of the net to double his goals despite Panagi’s best efforts.
After APOEL’s second goal, the pace of the match drastically fell with the Galazokitrinoi easily holding their lead. In the 87th minute, Panagi was penalised for a foul on Al-Taamari at the edge of his penalty area, Omonoia were left with a player less and no available substitution. Defensive midfielder Giannis Kousoulos took over as goalkeeper for the rest of the game. In a difficult case, Panagi looked to play the ball before Al-Taamari was brought down.
APOEL prevailed in the eternal derby after another incredible performance by their star, Al-Taamari. Generally they looked better on the pitch but mostly due to Panagi, they failed to score more goals. Omonoia, on the other hand, only hoped to defend and hold their first half lead. They did not perform poorly, however they could not successfully threaten APOEL on the attack. With this win, APOEL remain within two points of leaders AEL as they continue their chase. Omonoia are still in 7th place and three points short of the first playoff group.
HIGHLIGHTS: OMONIA - APOEL