Apollon take down APOEL to claim top spot
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: CHAMPIONSHIP PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 3)
|Apollon Limassol||4 - 2||APOEL|
Papoulis (P) 66',78'
Apollon Limassol were the weekend’s’ big winners in Cyprus as they defeated APOEL 4:2 at home in Sunday’s derby.
Apollon entered the pitch looking for an early goal and with the help of the electric home crowd, they found the breakthrough fifteen minutes into the game with Anton Maglica. The momentum was on Apollon’s side and the hosts doubled their lead in the 31st minute with a superb free-kick from Joao Pedro that could not be stopped by Perez. However, four minutes before half-time, Mickael Pote would pull one back for APOEL, after he received Zahid’s pass, breaking Apollon’s offside trap, to convert the effort into an important goal for the visitors. Pote’s goal saw the first half end with Apollon leading 2:1.
APOEL started better in the second half with hopes of pulling level early on after the restart. However, it was Apollon who created the first big chance in the 51st minute with Markovic, who sent the ball just wide of Perez’s goalpost. Five minutes later, APOEL came close to the equaliser but Merkis’ header was brilliantly blocked by Bruno Vale.
With Apollon’s former captain failing to punish his old side, it was Apollon’s current skipper, Fotis Papoulis, who re-gave the hosts a two-goal lead in the 65th minute. The Greek player converted from the penalty spot (a penalty he won) to give his side a 3:1 advantage and twelve minutes later, Papoulis struck again for his team’s fourth of the night.
Stathis Aloneftis formed the final 4:2 scoreline in the 86th minute, but it was too little too late for APOEL as Apollon celebrated a great win over their rivals. Today’s result, might be the biggest victory yet in Apollon’s title hopes as they took down the defending champions and their biggest contender’s for this year’s championship.
The Limassol side is now clear three points of APOEL despite APOEL starting the playoffs with a three point advantage.