South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Melbourne Knights v South Melbourne – Friendly Match Report

Melbourne Knights v South Melbourne – Friendly Match Report

Sunday, 23 January 2005 11:55 PM

By Michael Tsoukalis

South Melbourne has been dealt a reality check in tonight’s friendly against the Melbourne Knights with the Albert Park-based club convincingly beaten by 3 goals to nil.

Experienced regulars Vaughn Coveny and Kostas Salapasidis were both missing due to knocks received against the Sunshine Georgies, with South’s lack of experience coming to the fore.

The Knights scored from two counter attacks in the first half, with the first one in particular highlighting South’s lack of defensive maturity. After a 7th minute set piece where Peter Koutsoupias had whipped in a quality ball only for Arthur Tsonis to fail on cleanly connecting with a header on goal, the Knight’s subsequent clearance looped over the South defence who were sitting far too up the pitch. The Knight’s forward pounced on his opportunity by nutmegging Dean Anastasiadis – who had come off his line in a desperate attempt to clear – and tapping into an empty net.

South threatened in the 13th minute after George Tzirtis had made a good run down the right and whipped in a quality ball that Knight’s keeper Adrian Cagalj got to just before a desperately lunging Tex Apostolikas.

In fact South had the majority of play in the first half but just seemed short of ideas. Ryan Dinse was continually causing problems down the left and did so again in the 25th minute when he cleanly skinned his direct marker, made his way somewhat into the box but had his cross intercepted by the alert Cagalj. Dinse’s run was the catalyst for the Knight’s second goal as from Cagalj’s clearance the ball made its way deep into the Knight’s attacking half, fell to a Knight’s player on the edge of the box who unleashed a powerful strike that was deflected past a helpless Dean Anastasiadis.

South’s best opportunity of the half came in the 46th minute when a deep run down the left flank by wingback Ramazan Tavsancioglu produced a quality floating cross that found Koutsoupias who’s control was decent but unfortunately his subsequent volley went over the bar.

The second half couldn’t have started any worse for South after once again they succumbed to a counter-attacking sucker punch. A 48th minute ball over the top fell into the path of a Knight’s forward who narrowed in on goal and comfortably tucked past South’s second choice keeper Con Dimitropoulos.

South had a golden chance to reduce the score-line when Ryan Dinse’s shirt was pulled in the box and a penalty was awarded. Up stepped substitute Jesse Krncevic who saw his low shot to the right comfortably saved by the excellent Cagalj. It was a moment which perfectly summarised South Melbourne’s evening, an evening of frustration where nothing fell the way of the visitors.

The Knights could’ve further extended their advantage when a 70th minute run down the left flank saw the Knight’s player work his way past two or so South defenders, enter the box and attempt a chip over Dimitropoulos who managed to get a fingertip onto the ball and hence prevent the goal. The Knights had a second golden opportunity which arrived in the 80th minute courtesy of tall defender David Piorkowski who rose above the entire South backline only to head just wide.

South finished the game with a minor flurry with Koutsoupias having two shots on goal, the first testing Cagalj who did well to save. In Between Koutsoupias’s strikes Jesse Krncevic also had a decent opportunity when a corner was nodded back across goal and into his path only for his shot-on-the-turn to go wide.

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