Omonia end seven-year title wait

AC Omonia have been crowned Cypriot champions for the first time in seven years and the 20th overall after recording a 1-0 victory over fierce rivals and outgoing titleholders APOEL FC.

Omonia have now won 20 Cypriot titles overall
Omonia have now won 20 Cypriot titles overall ©Omonia AC

AC Omonia secured their first Cypriot league title in seven years on Sunday evening after beating previous titleholders and fierce rivals APOEL FC 1-0.

A 17th-minute strike from key man Efstathios Aloneftis was enough to separate the two sides at Omonia's GSP stadium, the Cypriot international forward turning into an empty net following good work on the right from Davidson. In the day's other big game second-placed Anorthosis Famagusta FC could only draw 0-0 away against Apollon Limassol FC. Those results left Panagiotis Lemonis's side seven points ahead with one game to spare.

Omonia have now won 20 Cypriot crowns overall, moving them level alongside APOEL as the country's two most titled outfits. Unbeaten in all their games against their closest rivals this season, they will now enter the second qualifying round of next season's UEFA Champions League striving to become the third consecutive Cypriot club to reach the group stage, following on from the exploits of APOEL and Anorthosis.

"In moments like this, words cannot describe how you're feeling," said a smiling Lemonis after the game. "We went through a lot this season. I want to thanks my players, who endured a lot of hardship in the last three weeks. The most important thing was to win this game, which we did." Goalscorer Aloneftis added: "There has been tremendous pressure on us to win this title; seven years is a long time. Only we, the players, know how hard it's been this season, so I'm lost for words now that this campaign is finally over and we're champions."