DASAKI - League title chasers Anorthosis Famagusta dropped two crucial points on Saturday after being held to a 2-2 draw away to relegation battlers Ethnikos Achnas.
The draw has now seen the league leaders - who twice came back from behind against Ethnikos - win just one of their last three league games and allows second place APOEL, who in action away to third place AEK Larnaca on Sunday, to trim the gap to just one point should Ivan Jovanovic's men win at the GSZ Stadium.
At the Dasaki Stadium, Polish keeper Arkadiusz Malarz was the hero for Ethnikos as he pulled off a series of stunning saves to deny Ethnikos. Ernad Skulic struck first for the hosts seconds before halftime after Marco Aurelio's freekick struck the Croatian defender's shoulder and flew past Mathieu Valverde. Barak Itzakhi replied on 57 minutes for Anorthosis from a corner that wasn't cleared but the Ronny Levy's side were pushed back again when Paulo Kenmogne scored from close range. The lead didn't last long when Itzakhi popped up to score his second of the night and tenth goal of the season on 76 minutes.
Both sides missed excellent chances to steal all three points late on. Juliano Spadacio saw his freekick brilliantly tipped away to safety by Malarz while veteran midfielder Levan Mahradze saw his shot crash off the Anorthosis woodwork in stoppage time.
In other games on Saturday, Doxa Katokopia all but cemented their status in the top division next season after a clever Ricardo Fernandes freekick handed them a 1-0 win away to Nea Salamina while title holders AEL scored all their goals in a blistering first half as they romped to a 4-0 win at home to second division bound AEP. Monteiro, Vouho and a brace from Paulo Sergio got on the scoresheet for Jorge Costa's fifth place side.
Omonia meanwhile survived a late scare but did enough to beat Apollon Limassol 2-1 in Nicosia. Demetris Christofi - who came close to a switch to FC Rostov last week - opened the scoring on nine minutes with a stunning strike before Joao Paulo made it 2-0 just after the interval. Former APOEL striker Esteban Solari's header for Apollon minutes later ensured a nervy finish for the hosts.