Omonia keep nerve in Cypriot Cup final shoot-out

Antonis Giorgallides saved two spot kicks as AC Omonia claimed the Cypriot Cup for the 13th time thanks to a 4-3 victory on penalties against Apollon Limassol FC in Larnaca.

Omonia will compete in the UEFA Europa League next season
Omonia will compete in the UEFA Europa League next season ©Getty Images

AC Omonia have won the Cypriot Cup for the 13th time, defeating holders Apollon Limassol FC 4-3 on penalties after a 1-1 draw in Larnaca.

An early strike from Omonia's top scorer Michalis Konstantinou was cancelled out by an 85th-minute own goal from his skipper, Elias Charalambous. Cypriot international Antonis Giorgallides was the match-winner, saving spot kicks from Andreas Stavrou and Ion Erice, thereby salvaging some pride for the Nicosia club after they relinquished the league title to city rivals APOEL FC.

Konstantinou put his side ahead with a powerful header from Andreas Avraam's left-wing cross, but Apollon were rewarded for their second-half endeavours when Mustapha Bangura's shot deflected in off Charalambous's chest.

With extra time unable to produce a winner the match went to penalties, where Stavrou and Erice were denied by Giorgallides. Konstantinou, George Efrem, José Manuel Rueda and Bruno Aguiar all beat Aleš Chvalovský in the Apollon goal.

"I would like to congratulate my team-mates, the fans, the coaching staff and board because they deserve this cup just as much us," said Giorgallides.

Omonia coach Neophytos Larkou only assumed temporary command a little over a month ago after Dušan Bajević was fired. His and Omonia's reward is a place in the UEFA Europa League third qualifying round, with Avraam saying: "Antonis [Giorgallides] had a great game for us. I hope we can continue this success in Europe."