NICOSIA - League leaders Anorthosis Famagusta could go eight points clear of second place APOEL on Sunday after Ivan Jovanovic's side were held to a 1-1 draw by Omonia in the local derby.
The draw in Nicosia coupled with AEK's shock defeat means they could sprint eight points ahead with a win over Apollon on Sunday.
Helio Pinto had set APOEL on their way when he turned in Gustavo Manduca's cross early on but Omonia fought back to equalise on the hour with Rasheed Alabi's heading in the equaliser. Omonia were reduced to ten men late on when Renato Margaca was given his marching orders after stopping debut forward Mikkel Beckmann in a promising attack.
APOEL pushed hard in the dying minutes to snatch an equaliser but failed to convert both their chances. Omonia were left fuming after the final whistle claiming the assist for APOEL's goal had previously gone out of play while there were also complaints against the match official for the late sending off.
The game was also marred by crowd trouble both inside and outside the ground. According to Police Spokesman Andreas Angelides, "around 18 Omonia fans were taken in for questioning prior the game after fireworks were found in the bus transporting them while two APOEL fans were also arrested for being in possession of fireworks and rocks."
Flares were let off towards the end of the game prompting the referee to stop the match for several minutes.
There was more good news for Anorthosis, who are still undefeated this season, when third place AEK suffered a surprise 2-1 defeat at home to Nea Salamina. The visitors had taken the lead early on through Spanish midfielder David Sousa but new AEK signing Chando equalised midway through the second half. The hosts piled on the pressure late but it was Salamina who had the last laugh through Anders Oper's emphatic 95th minute winner.
Ethnikos Achnas continued their steady climb away from the relegation zone with a 2-1 win against Ayia Napa while Doxa secured their biggest win of the season thumping last place AEP 4-0 away.