Wins for AEL and APOEL, Anorthosis held at home to Alki Oroklini
CYPRIOT FIRST DIVISION - MATCHDAY 15
|Date||Home Team||Score||Away Team|
|5-Jan-19||AEL Limsassol||1 - 0||Pafos FC|
|5-Jan-19||Doxa Katokopias||1 - 2||APOEL|
|5-Jan-19||Anorthosis||0 - 0||Alki Oroklini|
AEL Limassol did what they had to do to keep the pressure on APOEL by winning 1:0 at home to Pafos FC, but APOEL also did their part with a 2:1 away win over Doxa Katokopias. Anorthosis were held to a 0:0 draw at home to Alki Oroklini.
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AEL Limassol hosted Pafos FC at the Tsirion Stadio in Limassol. The first half was mostly devoid of any serious scoring chances. The best one actually fell for the visitors, Adam Nemec had a powerful header from well outside the box, but it was too powerful and it sailed over the net. There were no scoring or other chances from the opening 45 minutes to speak of.
The second half was a little more lively, and the difference came from an error. Bryan Angulo had trouble controlling a routine cross, and ended up chesting the ball perfectly to Andreas Makris. Makris to his credit, blasted a stunning strike that beat Joel Mall in the 56th minute to break the deadlock. The AEL keeper, Patryk Procek, played a very long ball that connected with Ruben Jurado, but he just couldn’t dribble around Mall in the end. To preserve the win and the clean sheet, Procek did have to make a late save on Kevin Lafrance, but he was up to the task, and AEL earned a valuable 3 points, with a 1:0 win at home to Pafos FC. They remain just one point behind APOEL in 2nd place, Pafos are still in 10th.
So that means APOEL needed to win to stay on top. Doxa Katokopias hosted APOEL at the Makario Stadio in Nicosia. Doxa had the early energy they wanted, Nils Zatl got a shot off, but Boy Waterman made the save and the rebound was cleared to safety. Ghayas Zahid tested Armin Gremsl at the other end, but Gremsl was ready and turned it aside. Gremsl then stopped a free kick off the boot of Tomas De Vicenti. A scoreless first half left everything to play for in the second half.
In the second half, APOEL ramped up the pressure, but Gremsl continued to have all the answers. Finally a bit of trickery helped them solve Gremsl, as a slick back-heel from Emilio Nsue sets up Zahid who scored the opening goal on the hour mark. APOEL continued to bombard Gremsl, who kept his side in it until a long ball from Norbert Balogh found Leo Natel who slid an insurance marker past Gremsl in the 78th minute. Doxa had a free kick which was knocked down by Waterman and cleared off the line by Giorgos Merkis, but only as far as Yevhen Pavlov, who in the 81st minute gave his side some hope. APOEL tried to add another insurance goal, but Doxa did earn one last chance, but Waterman denied Nelsinho at the near post, and APOEL hung on for the 2:1 away win over Doxa Katokopias. APOEL will certainly take that, they retain their place atop the standings, again just by one point over AEL. Doxa remain in 8th.
In Larnaca, Anorthosis hosted Alki Oroklini at the Antonis Papadopoulos Stadium. Nika Kacharava volleyed an effort that Urko Pardo did well to save. Andraz Struna crossed in for Kacharava who did everything right to place a low header, but Pardo came up with that one, as well. Thanks to Pardo, there was no score at the half.
Anorthosis continued to dominate the second half, but had trouble hitting the target. Michal Duris managed one last chance, but once again, Pardo took care of it, and a frustrated Anorthosis side had to settle for a point. Alki also took a point which catapulted them into 9th place. Anorthosis remain in 4th, losing an opportunity to gain on Apollon, AEL and APOEL.