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Monday, 28 September 2009 00:33

Ricardo Fernandes fires Anorthosis to joint-top in Cyprus

Anorthosis 1-0 AEL

Anorthosis Famagusta joined Apollon at the top of the Cypriot First Division, after a 1-0 win over AEL Limassol in the first major derby of the season.

2008 champions Anorthosis went into the game having won two and drawn one of their first three matches, while opponents and rivals AEL had a 100% record in the league. The visitors arrived fielding four Portuguese players in their starting line-up: Dossa Junior, Rui Junior, Miguel Vargas and Pedro Torrao.

Fernandes enjoys a big reputation in Cypriot football, stemming from a highly successful three-year spell at APOEL from 2005 to 2008. The former Sporting and Porto midfielder duly showed why Anorthosis brought him back to the Cyprus from Ukrainians Metalurh Donetsk during the summer transfer window by scoring the game’s only goal against AEL.

The game was 57 minutes old when Fernandes, a renowned set-piece specialist, lined up a free-kick just outside the area. The 31-year-old proceeded to let fly with a dipping left-footed shot which flew past AEL goalkeeper Panos Constantinou. Fernandes went on to play for most of the remainder of the match, before being replaced in the closing minutes.

The win would appear to serve as the perfect confidence-booster ahead of next weekend’s trip to another of the country’s traditional powerhouses, Bruno Aguiar’s Omonia, who currently hold a 100% record from their opening three matches.

Related: Ricardo Fernandes heads back to Cyprus

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