South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South get much needed win

South get much needed win

Monday, 4 August 2008 1:14 PM

By George Kouroumalis

South Melbourne have kept their faint hopes of a top six position alive with a hard fought win against Altona on Sunday.

The Blues came into the contest on the back of a disappointing loss against Fawkner last weekend, whilst Altona were resonably fresh having only played a half last weekend, with the light towers failing at half time against Coburg.

South also came into the game with an added incentive, with Captain and club legend Dean Anastasiadis announcing his retirement during the week. With this retirement coming into affect at season’s end, Anastasiadis would start in goals for the club replacing Tommi Tomich.

With this spurring the side on, South started the game in explosive fashion, attacking the Altona defence from the outset. This attacking style almost paid off in the 10th minute, when Goran Zoric latched onto a poorly cleared ball by goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic. With the keeper out of position, Zoric opted to try an audacious shot at goal from just outside the area. However for the speedy midfielder, the ball flew just outside the upright and out for a goalkick.

South continued to pile on the pressure and Roganovic once again was on hand to thwart Zoric minutes later, when he was able to tip a long range effort just over the bar.

Altona had their first chance in the 25th minute, when some confusion in the South defence allowed for Pece Cergovski to latch onto a loose ball just outside the area. With the Altona midfielder seemingly headed for goal, veteran Dean Anastasiadis made a tremendous one on one save to repel the attack.

South had one final chance before the break when some lovely interplay between Gianni De Nittis and Fernando De Moraes culminated in the ball being played into the path of Hamlet Armenian just outside the area. Armenian then took a touch and hit a stinging drive into the prying arms of Roganovic, who ensured his side would be on level terms at half time.

As with the opening half, South approached the second period in a similar manner by continuing to attack Altona from the outset.

The home fans thought they had the lead in the 57th minute when a sublime through ball by Fernando found De Nittis inside the six yard box. With the crowd expecting the ball to ruffle the back of the net, Roganovic once again provided the crowd and his coach with an excellent display of goalkeeping, making a world class save from point blank range to deny De Nittis the opener.

In response, Altona continued to counter attack whenever possible and via the dangerous Esala Masi and former South Melbourne striker Michael Curcija, they had two long range efforts fly past the right hand upright of the relieved Anastasiadis.

With the clock counting down, South managed to find the winner in the 86th minute of play. On this occasion, a lovely swinging corner by Fernando was placed just outside the six yard box. With the keeper uncommitted, youngster Sebastian Petrovich stormed through to force the ball into the back of the net to give his side a very important win.

South will now head into next week’s away game against Richmond knowing that a win could see them 3 points outside the top six, whilst Altona will host Oakleigh in a must win game on Saturday evening.

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