Omonia hold off AEL to hold on to cup

André Alves's early goal ensured that AC Omonia retained the Cypriot Cup, though AEL Limassol FC made them work for it despite being down to ten men for over an hour.

Omonia defended their cup in Nicosia
Omonia defended their cup in Nicosia ©Getty Images

AC Omonia retained the Cypriot Cup on Wednesday, André Alves scoring the only goal of the final in Nicosia to deny newly-crowned champions AEL Limassol FC the double.

January signing Alves calmly beat goalkeeper Matías Degra on 17 minutes after being picked out by Yuval Spungin. AEL's aspirations all but evaporated before the half-hour mark when defender Edwin Ouon was sent off following an off-the-ball incident yet they battled on gamely. Chris Dickson, Luciano Bebê and Edmar – who struck the woodwork – all squandered second-half chances as Omonia held on to capture their 14th Cypriot Cup.

"We earned this," said Omonia captain Christos Karipidis, whose side had also beaten AEL 1-0 last Saturday to finish the league campaign in third place. "We really wanted to win, especially for our fans. I hope this will be a good platform for the future because it is special to defend your trophy." AEL, of course, can console themselves in having captured their first championship in 44 years.