Monday, 12 June 2006 1:23 AM
By George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne has produced one of the most astonishing performances in Victorian Football History to belt the Melbourne Knights by a whopping 7 goals to nil at Bob Jane Stadium.
The home side lost Andreas Oliviera to an ankle injury during the week but regained inspirational
captain Vaughan Coveny who returned from national team duty in Europe.
He partnered Trinadad and Tobago striker Kevin Nelson up front, who no doubt was on a high after
Trinadad’ result at the World Cup.
The other main change to the South structure was the inclusion of George Tzirtis in the midfield after
The Knights line up consisted of one major change from last week’s game with Richmond, with playmaker Marco Maisano being replaced by Boris Ramadan.
The blue and white army were celebrating in the 5th minute when energetic midfielder Fernando De Moraes played Nelson
into space on the left hand side.
The in form striker then played a beautiful ball across into the path of George Tzirtis who hit a low drive first time past the outrsetched arms of goalkeeper Cagalj.
A few minutes later Nelson then had a chance of his own to score where he hit a low shot at the goal, only to be saved
In the 23rd minute, Cagalj cleared a dangerous ball up the field only to pull up sore after straining a muscle in his leg.
Automatically he signalled to the bench and was replaced by subsitute keeper Davor Filipovic.
Before Filipovic could get a touch of the ball, a horrible defensive error by Knights defender Tomislav Milardovic let in South captain Vaughan Coveny, who calmly slotted the ball into the net giving his side a two goal advantage after only 30 minutes of play.
South continued to dominate and it seemed certain that they would score another before the break, but
to the disbelief of the home crowd, De Moraes and Nelson missed the target just short of half time, with Nelson slamming the ball into the left hand upright from only one metre out.
With everyone heading back to the social club to get something warm to eat or drink, a horrific fumble by Knights subsitute keeper Filipovic left the ball at Nelson’s feet, who this time slotted the ball into the net from only 2 yards out sending
the home fans into a frenzy.
As the 2nd half commenced South coach John Anastasiadis opted to make a switch in the midfield, with Scott MacNicol being replaced by youngster Andrew Bourakis.
It wasn’t until the 59th minute that any real clear cut chance occurred, with quiet Knights forward Nathan Caldwell pushing a well hit shot wide from just inside the box.
As the Knights continued to look for a path back into the game, coach Biskic took off Ramadan replacing him with the dangerous Luke Slater.
However it was South that then attacked and nearly grabbed a fourth goal almost immediately, with De Moraes missing the target from 20 yards out.
As South continued to push forward a lovely flowing move found Nelson just outside the box who was fouled by Knights defender Josip Kovic.
From the resulting free kick, De Moraes stepped up and hit a superb freekick past the outrsetched keeper to make the scoreline 4-0.
South were not finished with yet and only 2 minutes later scored their 5th goal through De Moraes once again who found himself in open space behind the Knights defence, passing the keeper Filipovic before belting the ball into the back of the net.
In the 70th minute, South grabbed a sixth goal when Kevin Nelson was provided with a gift from the Knights defence that allowed him to be one on one with keeper Filipovic inside the area.
The hungry striker made no mistake and sent South fans into raptures at a scoreline that had not been seen at Bob Jane Stadium ever before against one of their greatest rivals.
The 80th minute provided the seventh goal of this remarkable contest, with youngster Billy Natsioulas ripping the Knights defence to shreds, finishing it with a powerful strike past the helpless keeper to make the scoreline 7-0.
An amazing few minutes followed with keeper Filipovic making the save of the game from a Coveny chance only metres from goal.
Filipovic then made a regulation save from a Coveny chip that also was destined for the back of the net.
In the 89th minute, the Knights had their best chance of the game, with Caldwell producing a looping header that forced a save from South keeper Dean Anastasiadis.
From the resulting corner the ball fell into the path of Craig Elvin, who hit a low shot at goal only to be turned away by Anastasiadis.
The 93rd minute should have seen South score their 8th goal, where Nelson burst past the Knights defenders and around the clueless keeper Filipovic, only for the ball to be touched by De Moraes, who was deemed to be in an offside position.
Had the touch not come, Nelson was through on an open goal and a certain hattrick.
Perry Mur then put an end to the contest with South running out winners by an astonishing 7-0 scoreline.
Both sides now have a two week break for the Fifa World Cup with South heading into the interval in outright 2nd position after jumping over the top of Kingston and Altona, while the Knights sit only 2 points out of the top 6 in 7th position.
South Melbourne FC 7 (Tzirtis, Coveny, Nelson x 2, Moraes x 2, Natsioulas)
Melbourne Knights 0
Crowd : Approx 1500 at Bob Jane Stadium