APOEL face tough test at Anorthosis

first_imgThe last games of the first round of the Cyprus championship playoffs will take place this weekend with leaders APOEL facing a difficult trip to Larnaca to face Anorthosis while AEK have a much easier task against Nea Salamina.In the relegation group Ethnikos Achnas need the three points against Paphos FC if they want to maintain their slim chances of first division survival while Ermis can move to the top if they defeat AEL in Limassol.APOEL travel to one of their least favourite hunting grounds to take on Anorthosis without the suspended duo of de Vincenti and Merkis. The absence of de Vincenti is made all the more important following the decision of top scorer Cavenaghis’ decision to end his Cyprus playing days last week.APOEL coach Ketsbaia, who has come under severe criticism from a section of his side’s supporters for his team selections, may opt for several changes in order to find the right blend to put his team back on the winning track and maintain their four-point cushion at the top.APOEL will need to improve considerably in the final third especially as Anorthosis’ newly-appointed coach Neophytos Larkou, is considered a good tactician with keeping a clean sheet his priority.Larkou got off to a winning start last week, and with the return from suspension and injury of a host of players (Pele, Laifis, Ndlovou, Calvo, Svechlen ) will be aiming to extend his winning start in front of the home fans.AEK are at home to (pointless) Nea Salamina and anything other than a win will be considered an upset even though the visitors are the only team not to have been beaten by Thomas Christiansen’s outfit this year.This was something Christiansen noted in his pre-game press conference reminding his players they only took one point off Salamina this year and “it’s high time we defeated them.”In the final top group game, in-form Apollon take on Omonia at the Tsirion with the home side favourites to win.Should they succeed they will open up a five-point gap to the Nicosia team, moving even closer to a much coveted European place.Trailing by seven points, Ethnikos Achnas are favourites for the drop and anything other than a win against the team just above them, Paphos FC, will almost definitely signal the end of their first division status.For their part, Paphos FC are a much improved side since Apostolos Makrides took over and should prove to be a tough opponent.Championship Group (all games on Saturday at 18.00)Anorthosis (55) vs APOEL (72)AEK (68) vs Nea Salamina (33)Apollon (57) vs Omonia (55)Relegation Group (all games on Sunday at 16.00)Ethnikos Achnas (25) vs Paphos FC (32)Doxa (33) vs Aris (34)AEL (39) vs Ermis (36)last_img read more

Calls for PNG Weightlifting Federation bosses to step down

first_imgMembers of the two Hanuabada weightlifting clubs have come together demanding that the PNG Weightlifting Federation interim administration step down.The reason is that there has not been an annual general meeting for the past five years since the interim administration was set up, they say.They questioned why the current administration had been continuing  for the past five years but had not held any AGMs since they took over as the interim committee.Weightlifting champion Dika Toua called on the interim administration to step down or there would not  be any weightlifting in PNG.She said the two clubs that she and Steven Kari are members of have been used in the past years and have no representation in the PNGWF.“These are the only two clubs that have produced elite athletes representing PNG,” she said.Toua said that as the weightlifting national coach, it was not fair that the coaching staff had no say in the selection process.“As an athlete who had been appointed as a national coach, I’m disappointed that I’m not part of the selection process.“The coaching staff train the athletes and we do programs for them. We also have club coaches training the athletes but we don’t have inputs in the selections so we’ve had enough,” she said.She said they had been training elite athletes for many years without the support of the government and the federation when it came to facilities.Loop PNG is yet to get a response from the PNGWF.Meantime, the clubs thanked major sponsor Trukai Industries for their support throughout the years.last_img read more