Cypriot Europa League representatives Apollon Limassol and APOEL go into tonight’s domestic action in contrasting moods following last week’s results in Europe.
APOEL, who lost 3-0 at home to Eintracht Frankfurt and who later sacked Portuguese boss Paulo Sergio, host Aris Limassol knowing that they cannot afford another slip-up in the title race.
The former Hearts and Cluj boss arrived in the summer following the departure of the popular Ivan Jovanovic but failed to convince the supporters following a string of disappointing results in Europe and at home.
Former AEK Larnaca boss Ran Ben Shimon – who is currently at Hapoel Tel Aviv – has been tipped to take over.
The Cypriot champions are currently five points adrift of first place Anorthosis and Ermis and caretaker manager Yiannos Ioannou is also likely to be without the services of the injured Christian and Gustavo Manduca.
Christakis Christoforou’s Apollon, meanwhile, will be on a high after becoming the first Cypriot side to notch up an away victory in the group stage of a UEFA competition. They stunned Legia Warsaw 1-0 and could go level with Anorthosis and Ermis with a victory against Doxa Katokopia at the Makarios Stadium in Nicosia.
Anorthosis Famagusta regained top spot in the Cypriot first division last night after a thumping 5-1 victory away to AEK Kouklion while Omonia also returned to winning ways – although they were far from impressive – after a 1-0 victory over bottom side Alki.
Jorge Costa’s side moved level on points with surprise outfit Ermis Aradippou – who beat Ethnikos Achnas 2-1 on Saturday – after bouncing back from their shock 2-1 home defeat to Doxa last weekend in emphatic fashion at the Paphiakos Stadium.
The visitors effectively killed off the game before half-time as they raced into a 4-1 lead and never looked like surrendering their victory. Dan Alexa got the ball rolling on eight minutes when he beat Charalambos Kairinos on the second attempt after his first shot was only parried by the Cypriot keeper.
Argentinean striker Roberto Collauti made it 2-0 after being teed up by Alexa before Robert Stambolziev reduced the deficit with an impressive first time volley. Alexa restored his side’s two goal lead with bullet header on the half hour mark and Toni Calvo made it 4-1 from the penalty spot.
Collauti added his second of the match with a neat finish five minutes after the restart and Kairinos was called into action on several occasions for the remainder of the half to keep the score down to 1-5.
Omonia, who have started their season poorly after also crashing out of the Europa League qualifiers in the summer, laboured to a 1-0 victory over releagtion candidates Alki at the GSZ Stadium in Larnaca.
Toni Savevski’s side were guilty of some wasteful finishing throughout the encounter and were made to work for their victory after Portuguese defender Joao Paulo Andrade put them in front right before half time with a bullet header that went in off the post.
Nea Salamina’s hopes of staying up this season were given a boost as they secured a crucial 1-0 win away to fellow relegation battlers Enosis Neon Paralimniou.
Helio Roque scored the only goal of the game with a powerful strike on 15 minutes while both sides missed a host of chances to score later on in the match.
Ermis Aradippou’s dream start to the season continued on Saturday as goals from Marcos De Azevedo and Henrique saw them come from behind to beat Ethnikos Achnas. They are now joint first with Anorthosis.
In the other game on Saturday, Lito Vidigal’s AEL missed the chance to move clear at the top of the table after being held to a 1-1 draw at home to AEK Larnaca.

Cyprus Weekly

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