Apollon regain breathing room, APOEL slip in Larnaca
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 5)
|Anorthosis||0 - 0||APOEL|
Apollon re-gained a two-point cushion atop the Cypriot First Division standings after a 3:0 win at home over Omonoia, and APOEL’s scoreless draw against Anorthosis.
It was a sloppy match in Larnaca as Anorthosis hosted APOEL. Anorthosis had the first chance of the game as a cross came in for an open Michal Duris, but he couldn’t get a touch on the ball and the chance went by the wayside. APOEL then failed to capitalize on an ill-advised backpass intended for Anorthosis keeper Ariel Harush, but Harush alertly cut down the angle and stopped Igor DeCamargo’s attempt on goal. The visitors came knocking again as Lorenzo Ebecilio found DeCamargo open in the box, however once again, Harush was in the right position and made the save. The last chance of the half fell to the hosts when off a corner, Ruben Rayos had space and his shot rattled the post and stayed out.
In the second half, Anorthosis started taking over the match. Rayos was able to get a shot on target that Nauzet Perez parried aside. A chance fell to Duris on a header, but Perez again was able to punch it over the bar. The pressure yielded nothing for the hosts and APOEL had one last chance in stoppage time off a corner, Giorgos Merkis’ scissors kick went just wide of the net, and the stalemate persisted at the final whistle.
HIGHLIGHTS: ANORTHOSIS - APOEL
|Apollon Limassol||3 - 0||Omonia|
Meanwhile in Limassol, Apollon hosted Omonoia. Just three minutes in, the hosts had a corner, and Emilio Zelaya headed it past a frozen Nikolay Mihyalov, who may have been able to stop it had he reacted, and Apollon took the early lead. Omonoia appeared to have equalized quickly, but the goal was called back due to offsides. Instead, the hosts doubled their advantage as Andre Schembri haunted his old team with a header that found its way past Mihaylov for a 2:0 lead. The bombardment continued as Joao Pedro’s low ball found Zelaya who tapped in for his second of the match and the score was 3:0 for Apollon just 33 minutes in. An ambitious header from Matt Derbyshire was seen all the way by Apollon keeper, Bruno Vale, and the first half drew to a close with Apollon comfortably ahead.
No further scoring took place in the second half as the hosts were all too happy to play the possession game and Apollon got the expected 3:0 win at home over Omonoia.
As a result, Apollon remain top of the table and regain their two point advantage over APOEL that was lost last week. APOEL remain in second, still very much alive in the title hunt, but are running out of time with only 5 matches remaining. Anorthosis remain in 3rd, 7 points behind APOEL and 9 points behind Apollon. Omonoia continue to sit in 6th and saw their losing streak extend to 8 games.