Anorthosis Famagusta stormed to the top of the league table on Monday night after clinching an impressive 1-0 win over title holders APOEL in Nicosia.
The victory moved Ronny Levy’s side one point ahead of second place AEK Larnaca – but having played a game more.
In the other game on Monday night, Apollon Limassol twice came back from behind to beat a resurgent Ermis Aradippou 4-2 at the Tsirio Stadium in Limassol.
Joao Victor scored the only goal of the game on 30 minutes at a near-empty GSP Stadium in Nicosia with APOEL serving a stadium ban due to crowd trouble last season. APOEL, who lost 3-0 to Real Madrid in their Champions League opener last week, looked weary and were made to pay for their sluggish start.
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Giorgos Donis had rested Nuno Morais, Igor de Camargo and Stathis Aloneftis on the bench but had been forced to introduce them in the second half as their replacements struggled against a well-drilled Anorthosis side.
APOEL missed a glorious chance to salvage a point when De Camargo missed a penalty in stoppage time before Anorthosis also failed to score from the spot when Ruben Rayos’ penalty was saved by Boy Waterman.
APOEL also lost Roberto Lago to a late red card.
Apollon had twice fallen behind to Ermis in Limassol when Theo Weeks and Innocent Emeghara scored either side of Nicolas Martinez.
Substitute Emilio Zelaya came off the bench to equalise on 71 minutes before Valentin Roberge and Zelaya (with his second) scored in stoppage time to seal a dramatic win for the hosts.
The game ended with Apollon coach Sofronis Avgoustis and Ermis coach Nicos Panagiotou both being sent to the stands.