South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Blues diffuse Cannons

Blues diffuse Cannons

Monday, 16 June 2008 1:01 PM

By George Kouroumalis | Photo by Peter Kakalias

In a crucial match for the club, South Melbourne has managed to overcome the obstacle of playing with ten men for over an hour to defeat Oakleigh 3-1 on Sunday at Bob Jane Stadium.

With the club hosting a luncheon prior to kick-off that outlined the future plans for South Melbourne FC, the mood around the ground was quite optimistic leading up to kick-off, with the majority of the crowd keen to see a South Melbourne home win.

The expectant fans did not have to wait long to see the home side hit the front.

After a lovely touch and short run by Fernando, the Brazilian hit a stinging low drive onto the target. To the benefit of South, Oakleigh goalkeeper Adrian Cagalj could not hold onto Fernando’s low bullet like drive, allowing for the ball to fall into the path of the energetic Goran Zoric. With an open goal in front of him, Zoric slammed the ball into the back of the net to give the home side an early 1-0 advantage.

South continued to dominate the game and doubled their advantage when a sublime run by Fernando was rewarded after the Brazilian worked hard to initially latch onto a loose ball with two Cannons defenders around him. He then was able to steer his shot onto the target and past the hapless goalkeeper, sending the vocal home crowd into raptures.

In the 33rd minute, South’s momentum was halted momentarily when experienced defender Steven O’Dor was dismissed in somewhat dubious circumstances. In what appeared to be a hard fought and quite fair contest, O’Dor was a given a second yellow card by referee Hakan Anaz after being adjudged to have pulled on the shirt of his opponent. This meant that the former A-League player would have to watch the rest of the game from the grandstand.

The Cannons could not make use of their one man advantage until the 70th minute when a strong drive by Jonathon Munoz forced a superb save by Tommi Tomich. In an unlucky twist of fate for Tomich, the ball fell to the feet of the well positioned Stellios Drakos, who buried the chance gifted to him. This gave the visitors some hope and belief that they could get a result from the match.

However any hope that the Cannons had was taken away from them with five minutes to play, after a well constructed South move forward culminated in former Cannons player Sam Poutakidis whipping a sublime cross into the area from the right hand flank. The inch perfect cross was played into the path of the oncoming Hamlet Armenian, who had made a powerful run into the area. Armenian then managed to steer his shot on goal and past the goalkeeper to ensure that his side would take all three points from the derby.

The win leaves South only 3 points outside the top six, with a crunch game against the AIS in Canberra next Sunday.

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