In Paralimni ENP hosted the game against Ethnikos Achnas. A very important game for both teams which are desperate for points to stay in the first division. It was a great game with the ball flowing from one side to the other with bad defenses and good offenses making it an interesting game. Several chances in the opening stages for both teams but it was Ethnikos who won a penalty 28 minutes in but Vender aimed for the post and the score remained at 0-0. Replays show no penalty. 15 minutes later it was ENP’s turn to hit the post to send the teams in the dressing rooms at 0-0.
In the second half Sergiao hit the post again for the visiting side but ENP responded almost immediately with Scotish Mark Burchill getting the first goal of the game to make it 1-0. The home side only hang on to their lead for 9 minutes as Filaniotis crossed for Vender to make it 1-1 with 20 minutes left for either team to get the winning goal. Both teams showed that a draw is not good enough and those last 20 minutes were edge-of-your-seat, up-and-down terrific. The team that got away with the three points though was Ethnikos Achnas as Sergiao won and executed a penalty to make it 1-2 and turn things around from being 1-0 down. Replays show that the second penalty was also a bad decision from the referee as well. Controversy there again but a great game to watch.It’s worth mentioning that in their two previous encounters they’ve drawn with a 1-1 and 0-0.
The other important game in the day took place in Limassol between Aris and Olympiakos. It was a dream debut for Demetris Ioannou as the home side won 1-0 thanks to a goal from Gelson that gives them a serious chance of staying in the first division now. It was a great game with both teams wanting the win but it was Gelson who got the winning goal early in the second half. Their job seemed easier moments after the goal when Olympiakos was down to 10 men after a second yellow to Rusmir but their numerical advantage only lasted four minutes as Kerkez was sent off as well leaving the game to be played with 10 men for either side. But Ioannou’s team was well organized and passionate and fought to keep the score as it was and got a very important 3 points.
Two games in Larnaca. The first was Salamina against Apollon. One can say that each team played football for 45 minutes as Apollon scored 2 in the first half and Salamina replied with 2 goals of their own in the second half to make it 2-2 on the final whistle. Ze Vitor only needed 8 minutes to score for the visitors and then Hamdani scored on the 37th minute to make it 0-2 at half time. In the second half Apollon chose to defend their 0-2 advantage and sit back and they were succeeding until the 78th minute when Diego Leon scored with a direct free kick assisted by the post. Then less than 2 minutes later, team captain, Therapontos scored a second for his team to make it 2-2.
Last game was the “Larnaca Derby” as it was Alki vs AEK. With both teams safely high up the second group it was a game where no team was bothered with the result and they preferred to rest players or experience different formations and positions for players. First half was slow and both teams looked slow with their thoughts elsewhere. In the second half AEK stepped it up a notch and showed some intentions of winning the game. It took 72 minutes to see a goal with Pavlou scoring from close range only for Garcia to score a second for AEK four minutes later and make it 0-2 full time result.