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Heidelberg vs South Melbourne FC – Match Report

Heidelberg vs South Melbourne FC – Match Report

Wednesday, 20 February 2008 8:28 PM

By George Kouroumalis

South Melbourne has started the 2008 season in an unlucky fashion, narrowly losing to arch rival Heidelberg United in a spirited derby match at Olympic Village on Sunday.

South started the game with a new look defensive duo, with Shane Nunes and Steven O’dor asked to perform central defensive duties, an area which last year posed a large problem for the side from lakeside.
Joining the two in defence was Adam Van Dommele and Ramazan, who patrolled the left and right hand side of defence respectively.

In the middle Sam Poutakidis was given the role as the holding midfielder, with Fernando, Goran Zoric and Gianni De Nittis expected to also provide some bite in the middle third and get forward as much as possible to assist the strikers.

Up front South relied on Nathan Caldwell and Ricky Diaco, who were looking to impress after both coming off a quite good 2007 season in front of goals.

The game started off in quite a timid manner, with both sides reluctant to venture too far forward in the early stages, rather being more than happy to knock the ball around without any forward movement.

The first genuine chance of the contest came in the 15th minute, when a well constructed move saw the ball find its way to the feet of Vassiliadis just outside the area.
After taking a touch, Vassiliadis sliced the ball wide and over the intended target.

South then pressed forward in the 20th minute, when a sublime through ball by Nathan Caldwell released youngster and South new-boy Goran Zoric into acres of space.
Zoric, after running into the area, then hit a low drive onto the target, only for new Heidelberg keeper Mark Sutalo to save the shot.
From the rebound, Zoric was quite to pounce and buried home the gift handed to him.

With South in command following the goal, they could immediately sense that perhaps a second goal was immanent.
An attacking foray forward in the 22nd minute, saw a confident Zoric breeze past Liparoti and shoot at goal almost immediately.
Unfortunately for the fast winger, the ball flew past the outside of the post and away for a goal kick.

With the Warriors aware of South’s capabilities in the forward half, the home side decided to push forward themselves and came close in the 31st minute, when a Vassiliadis cross was headed inches over the bar by Mark Tsiorlas.

The Warriors though were on equal terms four minutes later, when a lovely ball found Graham Hockless in space, with the stagnant South defence shouting for an offside call to be made.
With no defender around him, Hockless composed himself and drilled the ball past Dean Anastasiadis to send the small home contingent into raptures.

Heidelberg were starting to dominate the midfield area and Vassiliadis once again proved dangerous in the 43rd minute, after a superb run by Liparoti culminated in the former South Melbourne defender playing the ball to that man Vassiliadis outside the area.
From an acute angle, the former Whittlesea midfielder hit the drive into the arms of the waiting Anastasiadis.

The final chance of the opening half saw a free kick given to South Melbourne outside the area after what seemed to be a professional foul as the last defender on Fernando was adjudged to only be a foul with a yellow card also be brandished, and not the red that most at the ground expected.
Ricky Diaco stepped up and hit a curling and well struck free kick onto the target, only for Sutalo to make a great save to his right hand side, forcing the ball for a corner.

With both sides keen to get a result, the second half started off with yet another chance falling to Vassiliadis, who hit his free kick from 18 yards directly into the arms of Anastasiadis, who once again thwarted the Heidelberg veteran.

The 58th minute then saw South miss the chance of the game.

In what left the strong traveling faithful in disbelief, a superb bit of wing play by Zoric, saw the youngster skip past a host of defenders and provide an inch perfect pass directly onto the head of Nathan Caldwell.
With only Sutalo to beat, Caldwell barely made contact on the header, with the ball rolling out for a harmless goal kick.

With the warm conditions seemingly slowing the tempo of the match right down, the next major opportunity of the game fell in the 80th minute, when Yusuf Yusuf played young Zoric into space once again.
Unfortunately for the diminutive midfielder, his final shot then let him down, blasting the opportunity inches wide from only 5 yards away.

With Heidelberg sensing that the opportunity to take the points was still well and truly available to them, a strong move forward in the 84th minute almost snapped gifted the points to the home side.

On this occasion, the man-of-the-match Eric Vasiliadis found himself in space on the right hand side, before darting past Van Dommele and hitting a wicked shot onto the target.
The ball, which was saved spectacularly by Anastasiadis in goal, then fell directly into the path of the waiting Tsiorlas on the penalty spot.
In what was a great bit of goalkeeping, Anastasiadis regained his position and saved the point blank chance by Tsiorlas to keep his side in the contest.

The game however was decided in the 89th minute after a mix-up in the South defence allowed for Daniel Jones to claim possession just outside the area.
With all the defenders out of position due to the mix-up, Jones slotted the ball past Anastasiadis and into the open net, to giving his side a sensational derby victory.

A disappointed South side must now re-group as it faces Coburg United in an eagerly anticipated clash on Sunday.

All fans are encouraged to get along and support the side, as well as to purchase and collect a membership for the 2008 season.

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