APOEL throttle AEL, Omonoia fall at home to AEK Larnaca
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS
|Omonoia||0 - 2||AEK Larnaca|
APOEL recorded an emphatic 3:0 away victory over AEL Limassol while AEK Larnaca also won 2:0 away from home over Omonoia.
In Nicosia, Omonoia hosted AEK Larnaca at the GSP Stadium. Omonoia had their chances early on, David Ramirez narrowly missed the net, and Abdul Ajagun had a shot blocked in front. Dimitris Kolovos did put a shot on goal, but it was straight at Tono Ramirez, the AEK keeper. Finally AEK rose to the challenge and Apostolos Giannou had an effort on goal, but Tomas Mejias was alert and made the save. Some controversy on a longball intended for Ramirez, he caught an arm to the head from Daniel Mojsov and went down in the box, no penalty was given. Then Kolovos had another test for Tono Ramirez, a better effort than the previous one, but the save was made and the rebound was just out of the reach of Ajagun. Another potential penalty, another questionable play by Mojsov as he cut down Kolovos in the box, but once again Leontios Trattos kept the whistle in his pocket. For all their possession and chances, Omonoia had nothing to show for it, and there was no score at the half, a break for AEK.
Early in the second half, it briefly looked like Omonoia finally broke through, as Ajagun put the ball in the net, but it was called back on an offside call. Kolovos and Ramirez found themselves facing off again, but the Spanish keeper came out on top yet again. Then Mejias took his turn to play hero as he stopped Florian Taulemesse twice. It came late, but in the 78th minute, the decisive goal came, as Ivan Trickovski tracked down a loose ball and beat Mejias to the near post, 1:0 for AEK. Omonoia nearly equalized quickly, but Matt Derbyshire skied a point blank chance over the net. Instead, AEK dealt the backbreaker, Giannou took a shot, Mejias made the save, but he got his own rebound and scored, 2:0 the final score as AEK won away over Omonoia. AEK move into 3rd place with the win, Omonoia remain in 5th place.
HIGHLIGHTS: OMONOIA - AEK LARNACA
|AEL Limassol||0 - 3||APOEL|
AEL Limassol hosted APOEL at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol. AEL seemed to have the early jump, and Andreas Makris fed Ruben Jurado for a chance, but Boy Waterman was in position to make the save and did well to not let out a rebound. At the other end, Caju set up a chance for Roman Bezjak, but Vozinha made a save of his own. Unfortunately, Vozinha sabotaged himself in the 12th minute when he received a back pass and could play the ball as far as the APOEL Captain, Nuno Morais. Vozinha scrambled to get back in goal, but it was still an easy goal for Morais, and the opening goal belonged to APOEL. AEL tried to answer as Alex Da Silva played in a free kick for Jurado, but the finish lacked power and it was an easy save for Waterman. Another mistake by Vozinha doubled the APOEL lead in the 42nd minute. Caju let a weak shot fly through traffic and Vozinha spilled the rebound, and Nikolas Ioannou was right there to make him pay. Another Vozinha mistake was punished and the result was a 2:0 lead for APOEL at the half.
AEL had a golden opportunity to halve their deficit to start the second half, as Christos Wheeler found himself in space and crossed in for Jurado, but once again, nowhere near enough power on the finish, and another routine save for Waterman. As the game wore on, conditions in Limassol began to deteriorate as rain began to fall harder. On the 90 minute mark, APOEL dealt the final blow. The wet pitch created a bounce leaving the ball for Morais who passed to his left and found Stathis Aloneftis. Aloneftis didn’t get all of it, but Vozinha was fooled, and the veteran found the back of the net. APOEL made a big statement with a 3:0 win over AEL in Limassol. APOEL extend their lead to 5 points over Apollon, but they have a game in hand tomorrow at home to Nea Salamina. This loss knocks AEL into 4th place.
HIGHLIGHTS: AEL LIMASSOL - APOEL