Capital clubs APOEL Nicosia FC, Omonia Nicosia FC and Olympiakos Nicosia FC all enjoyed victories this weekend to hold the top three positions in the Cypriot first division as the winter break begins.
APOEL see off strugglers
Unbeaten APOEL ensured first place on Sunday with a 3-1 home victory against bottom-placed Aris Limassol FC, still with only one point all season, although they did not make life easy for their opponents. Stavros Georgiou put the hosts ahead with a precise shot on 24 minutes but Aris answered just after the half-hour through a Vladan Tomic penalty. Aris looked to take the game to APOEL, Stelios Longras and Tomic, both going close, but Kostakis Malekkos put the leaders back ahead with a left-footed strike late in the first half, and sealed the victory on 76 minutes from the penalty spot.
Omonia had led the way on Saturday night with a vital 3-2 victory away to AEL Limassol FC, prolific striker Rainer Rauffmann winning the game in added time. The visitors took a deserved first half, with goals from Kostas Kaiafas and Rauffmann. But AEL came back in the second half and levelled with two stylish strikes from Hungarian forward Jozef Sebok. With both sides missing clear-cut chances in the dying minutes, Rauffmann latched on to across from Haris Nicolaou to score his league-leading 18th goal of the season.
Olympiakos are third after beating Alki Larnaca FC 4-3. Two goals from Slovakian striker Josef Kozlej and further goals from Greek midfield player Angelos Dikozis and Marios Themistocleous ensured the points for Olympiakos - who recently welcomed the decision of coach Nicos Andronicou to stay at the club after previously announcing his resignation. Alki had taken the lead through a Mihajl Vujacic penalty but were 3-1 down before the half-hour mark and were never able to get back on level terms.
Anorthosis Famagusta FC dropped to fourth after a 2-1 defeat by strugglers Enosis Neon Paralimniou FC. Although Anorthosis took the lead on 25 minutes though the Marios Neophytou's penalty, Enosis equalised just before half time through Cypriot Under-21 international Georgos Karras. And Enosis substitute Georgi Donkov scored the winner with a long-range effort deep into added time.
More late drama
Elsewhere, AEP Paphos FC also secured a last-minute victory as Sasa Jovanovic scored his second of the game in the 89th minute to beat Apollon 2-1. Dighenis Morphou FC moved into the relegation zone after Louis Eleftheriou's late equaliser gave AEK Larnaca FC a 1-1 draw while Ethnikos Achnas FC and Nea Salamis FC's match finished goalless.
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