LARNACA - APOEL moved to within one point of league leaders Anorthosis Famagusta on Sunday after securing a vital 1-0 victory away to third place AEK Larnaca.
The win gave Ivan Jovanovic's men the perfect boost ahead of their next league game against title holders AEL while on the same weekend, Anorthosis face AEK. After an indifferent start to the season, the 2011-2012 Champions League quarterfinalists are now within touching distance of overtaking Anorthosis at the top of the league standings after the refugee club could only draw 2-2 on Saturday away to relegation battlers Ethnikos Achnas.
In what was an incident-packed encounter, the only goal of the game in Larnaca was scored by January import Mikkel Beckmann 15 minutes from time after the Dane struck a sweet shot past AEK keeper Guy Haimov. Referee Yiannis Anastasiou was kept on his toes throughout the game as he continuously flashed yellow cards at players from both sides with fouls coming in thick and fast. APOEL goalkeeper Urko Pardo was given a straight red card in stoppage time after racing out of his area to handle the ball leaving Brazilian defender Marcelo Oliveira to deputise under the woodwork from the remaining seconds of the match.
Prior to the game, police made several arrests as fans rioted close to the stadium.
In other games on Sunday, Enosis Neon Paralimniou beat neighbours Ayia Napa 4-1 with Milan Mrdakovic scoring twice for the Paralimni club while Olympiakos Nicosia and Alki played out a 2-2 draw in Nicosia.