PARALIMNI – APOEL moved to within three points of league leaders Anorthosis on Monday night after Ivan Jovanovic’s side recorded a 2-0 victory away to Ayia Napa in Paralimni.
Anorthosis suffered their first domestic defeat of the season on Sunday after a late Nicos Englezou goal secured a 2-1 victory for Nea Salamina in the Famagusta derby.
Spanish defender Aritz Borda continued his impressive form of late by heading his side ahead on 38 minutes and the contest was put beyond doubt four minutes from time when winter signing Dudu Biton found the net. The Israeli striker, who came on as a late substitute along with fellow winter import Mikkel Beckmann, registered his second goal for the club on his second appearance after also finding the net against Nea Salamina in their previous game.
APOEL could have won the game with a great margin had it not been for some heroic saves by Napa keeper Athos Chrysostomou who has now given Cyprus boss Nicos Nioplias more food for though ahead of the island’s next World Cup qualifier against Switzerland in March.
Elsewhere on Monday, third place AEK also kept their top four aspirations in tact with a routine 4-0 victory at home to bottom club AEP.
Antun Palic got the ball rolling on 17 minutes and Dutch playmaker Gregor van Dijk added a second just before halftime. Nassir Maachi made it 3-0 on 54 minutes before Spanish striker Cando put the cherry on the cake with a late strike at the end.
The game also saw an impressive performance by Dutch winger Serginho Greene – recruited in January as cover for the injured Jason Demetriou – who provided two assists in the game.