Omonia Nicosia FC extended their lead to three points with a hard-earned 2-0 victory at AEK Larnaca FC.
Omonia Nicosia FC extended their lead at the top of the Cypriot first division to three points with a hard-earned 2-0 victory away to ten-man AEK Larnaca FC while rivals APOEL Nicosia FC could only manage a 1-1 derby draw with Olympiakos Nicosia FC.
AEK dominated the first half against Omonia, as the leaders were caught back peddling for large periods of the match despite missing the best chance in the opening 45 minutes when Ljubisa Kekic's powerful header hit the crossbar.
But things began to go wrong for AEK when Hungarian forward Zoltan Kenesei went tumbling in the Omonia area on 59 minutes and when the referee waved play-on, AEK defender Paris Elias was dismissed with a second yellow card for protesting the referee's decision. Kenesei then headed past his own keeper on 72 minutes to give Omonia the lead against the run of play and Kostas Kaiafas doubled the lead on the break to secure victory.
APOEL held again
Unbeaten APOEL Nicosia FC, who conceded first place last week, were held 1-1 for their third draw in succession by Olympiakos Nicosia FC. Slovakian international striker Josef Kozlej gave Olympiakos the lead on 14 minutes but APOEL quickly answered back through veteran forward Dragoslav Music soon after. APOEL dominated for thereon, especially after Philipos Philipou was sent off on 65 minutes, but the nearest they came to a winner was Barnabas Sztipanovics's disallowed goal for offside.
'I am satisfied'
APOEL coach Takis Lemonis remained calm after the game despite his side's failure to win, saying: "I am satisfied with my effort players showed but not with the final result. Their commitment in this game gives us confidence that we will get back to winning ways in our upcoming fixtures"
Bottom placed Aris Limassol FC looked set to pick up their first victory of the season as goals on 22 seconds and ten minutes put them 2-0 up against Enosis Neon Paralimniou FC. But second half goals from Nagoli Kennedy, Levan Kebadze and Pavlos Tsolakkis ensured an away win and kept Aris on a single point.
Anorthosis Famagusta FC moved to within a point of APOEL after new signing Vedran Pelic scored on five and 70 minutes to lead his side to an important 2-0 win against AEP Paphos FC, while Nea Salamis FC slipped into the relegation zone as they lost 4-1 at ten-man AEL Limassol FC, Ethnikos Achnas FC got back to winning ways under new coach Svetoza Sapuric with a 2-0 victory against Alki Larnaca FC, and Dighenis Morphou FC were held to a 0-0 draw against Apollon Limassol FC.