Wins for AEK & Anorthosis
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - ROUND 17
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|20-Jan-19||Anorthosis||2 - 0||Paralimni|
|20-Jan-19||Alki Oroklini||3 - 3||Pafos|
|20-Jan-19||AEL Limassol||0 - 1||APOEL|
|21-Jan-19||Doxa Katokopias||0 - 5||AEK Larnaca|
AEK Larnakas and Anorthosis moved on with wins in the battle to secure their presence in the first playoff group against Doxa Katokopias and Paralimni respectively. In a big matchup for the lower levels, Alki Oroklinis and Pafos FC could only play to a draw.
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Anorthosis hosted Paralimni at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium in Larnaca. Just two minutes into the game, the home side found the back of the net. Andraz Struna sent in the ball, which was met by Beka Mikeltadze’s head, Boris Klaiman failed to clear and Nika Kacharava pushed it into the net for the opening goal. Paralimni tried to equalize shortly after, but efforts from Chigozie Udoji and Gonzalo Zarate were not successful. Just before half time, Anorthosis missed a great chance to double their lead. Mikeltadze intercepted a weak pass from Kleyman, but Andreas Kyriakou with a strong effort came sliding in to block his shot with the first half ending Anorthosis ahead 1:0.
Anorthosis took full control of the game in the second half and in the 60th minute, debutant Michalis Ioannou was brought down in the penalty area and a spot kick was awarded. Danijel Pranjic converted for Anorthosis’ second goal of the night. In the 80th minute, Ioannou almost completed a perfect debut, however his powerful strike was stopped by Klaiman’s post. Anorthosis grabbed an important win with a good performance against a tough opponent while Paralimni remain in 10th place and are four and five points clear of Ermis and Pafos FC, respectively.
Pafos FC visited Stadio Ammochostos in Larnaca to face Alki Oroklini being in desperate need of points, after a six point deduction due to the use of players that did not have the right to do so against AEK. The need for points gave us an open game and in the 17th minute, Adam Nemec forced Urko Pardo to a big save. Nine minutes later it was Alki’s turn with Franco Flores hitting Joel Mall’s post. In the 31st minute Pafos were the team that opened the score with a beautiful finish from Bryan Angulo. Alki answered just three minutes later, Ivan Carlos forced Mall to a big save, however Matija Spoljaric took the rebound and leveled the game. Eight minutes later Spoljaric scored again, an effort that started from Pardo saw the ball moving forward fast and the Cypriot international found the net again to turn the game around. Pafos though did not say their last word for the first half, Angulo took the free kick and Andreas Karo headed home the equalizer, wrapping up a strong half.
The second half saw Pafos once again finding first the goal with Jens Cools who got the ball after a fumble in the heart of Alki’s penalty area and executed Pardo. Alki towards the end moved forward trying to find the equalizer. In the 86th minute Mall denied impressively the hat trick to Spoljaric taking off to stop his free kick. Alki though did not say their last word yet. At the game’s dying moment Spoljaric took the free kick and Franco Flores with the head beat Mall to form the final 3:3 scoreline. The need for points gave us plenty of goals, however Alki is more happy with the point with Pafos finding themselves in the bottom of the league due to the point deductions. Alki are still in 9th place.
In the Monday game, Doxa Katokopias hosted AEK Larnaca at the Makario Stadio in Nicosia. AEK have been in bad form lately, causing them to sack manager Andoni Iraola and rehire Imanol Idiakez, who was Iraola’s direct predecessor, holding the job from 2016-2018. They took it out on Doxa. Acoran forced a nice save by Armin Gremsl in the early going, and that was just a warning blow. Ioannis Hadjivasilis had a go for Doxa but Tono Ramirez knocked it aside. It was all downhill from there for the hosts. Acoran made a nice move to create some space for himself, and lobbed the ball on goal. Gremsl mistimed his jump, and suffered the embarrassment of getting chipped in the 15th minute. Then a long ball was played in for Ivan Trickovski, who possibly used his arm to control the ball, but the referee left his whistle in his pocket, and in the 22 minute, it was already 2:0 for AEK. In the 39th minute, Hector Hevel had the ball in the Doxa box, and was taken down for what could have easily been a penalty, but he still got the ball to Trickovski who scored anyway. Jorge Larena hit the crossbar in stoppage time, but the damage was done, a 3:0 halftime lead for AEK.
In the 79th minute, Acoran set Trickovski up from point blank range, and he completed the hat trick. To put an exclamation point on proceedings, Hadjivasilis turned it over to Onisiforos Roushias who found Nacho Cases, who blasted a 5th goal past Gremsl, and the final result was a 5:0 rout for AEK Larnaca away to Doxa Katokopias. AEK improve to 4th place, winning Idiakez’s return, Doxa remain in 8th.