Two goals from Portuguese forward Orlando Sa gave AEL Limassol a winning start to their league campaign following their 2-0 win over Ethnicos Achnas yesterday in Sunday’s late kickoff.
Both goals came within five minutes of each other. The first a fine header on 23 minutes from Brazilian Luciano Bebê’s set piece.
Aris marked their return to the first division with a 1-0 away win over Alki. A headed goal from Portuguese striker Moutinio on 30 minutes proved the difference between the two sides.
Doxa got their season off to a winning start with a 2-0 win over Nea Salamina yesterday leaving the visitors stuck on minus three points following their points deduction for failure to meet UEFA’s financial criteria. Brazilian Ricardo Lopo scored both goals in the second half. The first was from the penalty spot on 68 minutes, the second 10 minutes before the final whistle.
In Saturday’s big match, Anorthosis struck an early blow in the title race with their 3-1 win over Omonia at the Antonis Papadopoulos stadium. Jason Demetriou struck with a long range effort on 62 minutes to put the home side ahead, but the visitors responded through Polish striker Łukasz Gikiewicz who scored from close range.
When the referee’s assistant showed 11 minutes additional time would be played due to the stoppage caused by fans letting off flares and fire crackers in the stadium both sides went for the win.
Attack after attack ensued with Anorthosis making the breakthrough when a mishit shot found Israeli forward Roberto Colautti unmarked at the far post to head in for the lead. Omonia attempted to level but in the very next counterattack Colautti struck again to seal the win for Anorthosis.
Anorthosis coach Jorge Costa was happy with his team’s victory but attempted to play down its significance at this early stage of the season.
“It’s only three points,” said Costa. “We still need to work hard but I believe in this team.” Omonoia coach Tony Savevski was able to draw some positives from the match despite the defeat. It was an entertaining and open game for both sides,” he said. “Anorthosis got the breaks and scored at a crucial time. We know where we need to improve and we will look forward to our next game.”
There was a shock in the other match on Saturday when newly promoted AEK Kouklion, playing their first match in the First Division beat AEK 2-1.
Australian midfielder Robert Stambolziev opened the scoring for the hosts, but AEK pegged them back with a strike from Nestoras Mitidis midway through the first half. But the hosts regained the lead after the referee awarded a penalty early in the second half which Argentinean forward Pablo Vranjicán converted. The home side had to defend stoutly but managed to hold on to the three points.
Due to their Europa Cup exploits, Apollon, who face Ermis, and APOEL, who face Enosis, are playing today.