Wins for Salamina, Ermis and Alki, Olympiakos further in danger zone
CYPRIOT 1st DIV: RELEGATION PLAYOFFS (MATCHDAY 2)
|Date||Home Team||Score||Apollon Smyrnis|
|10-Mar-18||Doxa Katokopias||2 - 6||Nea Salamina|
|10-Mar-18||Alki Oroklini||3 - 1||Olympiakos|
|4-Mar-18||Pafos||0 - 1||Ermis Aradippou|
AGONAsport’s Andreas Mantzas recap this weekend's action in the Cypriot First Division relegation playoff group.
It was a big away win (2:6) for Nea Salamina over Doxa Katokopias at the Makario Stadio in Nicosia. Things started well for Doxa, and the payoff came in the 6th minute as Berat Sadik was left unmarked in the box to head the ball past a handcuffed Robert Veselovsky. This seemed to serve as a wakeup call for Salamina, and they quickly took control of the match. Doxa were able to hold out until just before the half, as a bullet from Thiago beat Armin Gremsl sending the teams into the halftime break tied at 1:1.In the second half, the Salamina wave only intensified. A Doxa turnover in the box found its way to Farshad Noor, and with a good, powerful shot, Salamina grabbed their first lead. Salamina poured it on from there. A Veselovsky punt to Charles Eloundou caught the Doxa defense out of the position and left Gremsl helpless, extending the Salamina lead to 1:3. Thiago and Noor would each add second goals, and Theodosis Siathas found the back of the net as well for an empathic 1:6 advantage to the visitors. Sadik would pull one back for the hosts, but Salamina walked away as the big winners with a 2:6 scoreline. Salamina remain in 11th, but the points go a long way in securing their plans for next year. Doxa remain in 7th at the head of the relegation bracket, and comfortably so.
Meanwhile, Alki Oroklini got what they needed at home to Olympiakos Nicosia in Larnaca with a 3:1 victory. Just 10 minutes in, the seas parted for Geoffrey Malfleury and with a highlight reel dribbling display, went right through the entire Olympiakos defense and beat Isli Hidi low to the far post to give Alki an early lead. Olympiakos did respond, as Yoann Tribeau found Helder Castro going to the net and Castro hit the target, beating goalkeeper Urko Pardo. Alki earned a penalty just before the half, but Fabricio’s penalty was a little underpowered and saved with relative ease by Hidi, and the score remained 1:1 at the half. The score remained that way until the 78th minute when Malfleury’s second of the match would put Alki ahead for good. Fabricio would make up for his lost penalty by tacking on the backbreaker, and Alki celebrated a 3:1 victory. Alki improves to 9th place, while Olympiakos remain in 12th and their hopes of avoiding relegation are fading fast.
In the Monday game in Paphos, Ermis Aradippou earned a narrow 0:1 away win of their own at Pafos FC. There was no scoring in the first half, with fairly even gameplay, but Giannis Arabatzis and Jan Koprivec had all the answers in goal. The difference maker would come in the 56th minute as an Ermis free kick was headed past Koprivec by Alfonso Artabe to give the visitors a 0:1 lead. Pafos turned up the heat thereafter, but their accuracy failed them at key times with several wasted chances, including a strike that rattled the frame of the goal. Ermis hung on for the 0:1 win to improve to 8th place, while Pafos fell to 10th place.