LIMASSOL – APOEL have one foot in the quarterfinals of the Cyprus Coca-Cola Cup after a 2-0 first leg victory away to title holders AEL on Wednesday afternoon.
APOEL boss Ivan Jovanovic recalled out-of-favour goalkeeper Dionysis Chiotis in place of Urko Pardo and the Greek keeper shined making vital saves to deny Paulo Sergio.
APOEL took the lead just after halftime when Canadian defender Michael Klukowski latched onto Constantinos Charalambides’ corner and AEL’s Edmar turned past his own keeper late on to hand a healthy lead to the visitors. Jorge Costa’s side were reduced to ten men on 84 minutes when Rui Miguel was sent off for a dangerous tackle on Nuno Morais.
Cup holders Omonia were also celebrating after a Joao Alves brace also handed them a 2-0 win away to Ethnikos Achnas while league leaders Anorthosis were held to a 1-1 draw at Alki.
AEK Larnaca will take a 1-0 lead to Olympiakos Nicosia in two weeks while Ayia Napa suffered a 1-0 home defeat to second division side Anagennises and AEP were held to a 2-2 draw against another second division side, PAEEK Kyrenia, at the Pafiakos Stadium.
Enosis Neon Paralimniou were 1-0 winners away to second division outfits Ermis at the Ammochostos Stadium.
The other first leg tie between Nea Salamina and Apollon will take place on January 23 on the same day most of the sides in the competition will be negotiating their second legs.