Cyprus round-up: Omonia slip boosts APOEL

Champions APOEL Nicosia FC moved further ahead of challengers Omonia Nicosia FC after the weekend action.

Champions APOEL Nicosia FC extended their lead at the top of the Cypriot First Division to three points after local rivals Omonia Nicosia FC dropped two valuable points at home to AEP Paphos FC in a thrilling 1-1 draw today.

Missed chances
Omonia were in control from the first whistle but spurned several good chances and were made to pay when veteran AEP striker Yiannakis Pachtalias headed into the net four minutes after half-time to give the visitors the lead against the run of play.

Stepjanovic saves face
AEP defended stoutly, but were finally undone in the final minute as Yugoslavian substitute Zoran Stepjanovic equalised from close range to salvage a point for Omonia.

APOEL take advantage
Leaders APOEL took full advantage of Omonia's slip as they crushed AEK Larnaca FC 5-0 on Saturday. Greek coach Takis Lemonis took control of APOEL for the first time, and saw Marios Agathocleous and Barnabas Sztipanovics each score twice before substitute Marios Elias completed a resounding win for APOEL.

'Victory is more important'
Despite the victory, Lemonis remained calm, saying, “There are some things that I saw today that I am happy with, especially in the second half when we seized full control. The fact that we scored five goals means nothing to me; what counted was the victory.”

Olympiakos win
Nicosia's other club, Olympiakos Nicosia FC, remained in touch with the top two, as they comfortably defeated Ethnikos Achnas FC 2-0 at home thanks to a goal in each half from Slovakian international striker Josef Kozlej and Marios Themistocleous.

Derby win
Elsewhere, Anorthosis Famagusta FC got back to winning ways as they beat Nea Salamis FC 2-0 in the Famagusta derby. New coach Andreas Michaelides saw two goals from Kyriakos Chailis secure the points for Anorthosis, while Nea Salamis, who had Nicos Nicolaou dismissed in injury time, are now just above the relegation zone.

Four for Sosin
In the other games, Enosis Neon Paralimniou FC dropped into the relegation zone after a 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Dighenis Morphou FC, while Polish striker Lukasz Sosin was on hot form for Apollon Limassol FC as he scored four times in his side's 5-0 thrashing of relegation strugglers Alki FC. There was also a resounding win for AEL Limassol FC, who easily beat bottom side Aris Limassol FC 4-0 in the Limassol derby.