It didn't have the freshness it had in the previous games
Despite taking the lead twice in the game, APOEL did not manage to get the victory, remaining 2-2 with AEK in the GSP.
The “blue and yellow” did not have the freshness they had in the previous games and this was especially evident in the last minutes of the derby, where Ricardo Sa Pinto's players ran out of energy and as a result they could not keep the lead they had twice.
Apart from the part of fatigue, APOEL also paid for its failure as it had the opportunities to take a two-goal lead, which it failed to capitalize on.
APOEL started the game quite well showing their determination to win a very important match against one of their main rivals for the title. He took an early lead (in the 4th minute) and then chose to play conservatively, leaving the visitors in possession of the ball but without being in particular danger. On the contrary, it was the blue and yellow who missed two very big opportunities to reach a second goal with Vijafanes (9') and Kvilitaia (44').
AEK played with a back three and was very strong in the middle line, with four players, something that allowed it to easily reach outside the large area of the hosts, who, however, defended properly and with composure, as a result of which the yellow-greens created their first final only in the 38th minute (missed shot by Garcia).
In the first minutes of the 2nd half, we saw the same scenario with AEK keeping more of the ball and APOEL closing the spaces well and being very dangerous in their counterattacks, missing two more great opportunities to double their goals. In the 52nd minute, an excellent shot by Dalcio hit the post, while a little later, in the 56th minute, Chebak's header from close range was crossed by Garcia on the goal line.
In the last quarter, AEK threw all their might. in the attack and managed to equalize in the 77th minute. Petrovic gave APOEL the lead again in the 82nd minute, but the visitors equalized again four minutes later. In the five minutes of stoppage time the score remained unchanged despite both teams fighting until the final whistle for victory.
Kvilitaia stood out with his passion and many won balls. He just missed the goal. Konstantinov contributed a lot to the interceptions of the opponents. Dalcio has had outstanding efforts to his credit. They were very good as long as Marquinios and Villafanes were strong, with the Argentine missing the chance of the match in the 9th minute.