Monday, 23 June 2008 8:28 PM
By George Kouroumalis | Photo by Cindy Nitsos
South Melbourne and the AIS have played out a tough and committed 0-0 draw in Canberra on Sunday.
In what was a crunch game for both sides, South came into the contest in great form, with the Blues accounting for Oakleigh last weekend by 3 goals to 1. With the confidence and belief behind them, a South win against the young and talented AIS squad would of assisted the away side in propelling itself towards that elusive sixth position.
Having not traveled interstate to play a game in four years, the South Melbourne squad were greeted by in excess of 50 passionate South Melbourne supporters upon arrival at the Canberra airport. These fans had traveled by bus, car and airplane to support the famous blue & whites.
With the game ready to being, the referee had realised that there was a problem with one of the goal nets not being pegged down properly. Because of this error by the home side, the match was postponed for 20 minutes.
In another twist, the referee then opted to make up for lost time by shortening the length of each half by five minutes. This was done to ensure that the South Melbourne players and staff would arrive back at the airport on time.
Once the game finally had commenced, South sprung into life immediately with Hamlet Armenian taking a speculative long range effort in the 14th minute. The shot unfortunately missed the target narrowly.
By the end of the first half, South team was really playing tough football, by fighting for every ball and not giving the young AIS side any openings through a dominant opening period. However the away side could not capitalise on the dominance, wasting a host of half chances along the way.
The second period was almost a carbon copy of the first, with South looking to attack the AIS from the outset. Both Armenian and Fernando missing half chances from inside the area, whilst Sam Poutakidis continued to whip in dangerous balls from the right hand flank.
With the game nearing completion, speedy winger Kofi Danning tried to snatch the game for the AIS. However some solid defending by Adam Van Dommele and Shane Nunes snuffed out the attack before Danning could put a shot on target.
South will now look at getting back onto the winners list when it takes on Preston next Sunday at Bob Jane Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.