Apollon revive title hopes with win over Omonoia
CYPRIOT 1st DIVISION - MATCHDAY 16
|Apollon Limassol||2 - 1||Omonia|
Apollon are back in the hunt for Cypriot football supremacy with a 2:1 win at home to Omonoia.
Apollon hosted Omonoia at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol, finally having caught up in games played after a midweek makeup game, a draw against AEK Larnaca. Apollon carried the early play, but the first good chance came to Omonoia, but the red-hot Jordi Gomez hit the side of the net. After Apollon were stymied by a few offside flags, Omonoia broke through from an unlikely source. Matt Derbyshire, better known for scoring goals than setting them up, found Marinos Tzionis, who surprised Bruno Vale with a shot that found the back of the net. It was the first career goal for Tzionis and the 23rd minute goal put Omonoia ahead, 1:0. Omonoia smelled blood and pressed for more goals, but had to settle for the one goal advantage to take into the halftime break.
However, as the familiar story for Omonoia the last couple seasons has gone, it didn’t last. An Apollon corner came to Kevin Bru, and a seeing-eye shot eluded a maze of Omonoia defenders, and Tomas Mejias, and in the 56th minute, the midfielder from Mauritius had the equalizer. Chambos Kyriakou had a free kick on the hour mark, but Mejias managed to make a difficult save. Gomez had a similar free kick at the other end, but he missed the net. Dangerous moments for Omonoia as a back pass to Mejias saw Mejias’s clearing attempt blocked by Adrian Sardinero, but Ioannis Kousoulos rushed back to prevent Sardinero from placing the ball into the vacated cage. They were not as fortunate in the 72nd minute, when Joao Pedro played in a 50-50 cross. Mejias went up to catch it, but he crashed into Emilio Zelaya, and the ball caromed off Zelaya and in, a go-ahead goal for Zelaya, and another second half that was unkind to Omonoia. Derbyshire tried to change that, but he just doesn’t seem to have the same touch as last year, and his shot was right at Vale. Other than that, all the best chances kept falling for the hosts, most notably a breakaway for Sasa Markovic that Mejias did well to stop. Nonetheless, it was a valuable win for Apollon, who improve to 2nd place, and are 4 points behind APOEL for the lead. Omonoia remain in 7th, 3 points behind AEK Larnaca and the last playoff spot.
HIGHLIGHTS: APOLLON LIMASSOL - OMONIA