Monday, 23 March 2009 6:15 PM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC has earned its first win at home for season 2009, with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over old rivals Melbourne Knights at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday evening. The result meant that South has now scored 9 goals in its last two outings, after scoring 7 at Preston the week before.
The first half was a timid affair, with few chances created. The closest either side got to opening the scoring was a low shot by Mate Dugandzic that was comfortably handled by South keeper Tommi Tomich, returning to the starting line-up after being omitted for the Preston game.
The second half started brightly for South Melbourne FC, as Fernando de Moraes pressed forward to partner Vaughan Coveny in attack. The impact was immediate, as a ball played from the right into the area was flicked into Fernando’s path via Coveny’s head. The Futsalroo was through one-on-one with Knights keeper Savas Ozdemir and he made no mistake in comfortably slotting the ball to Ozdemir’s left and into the corner of the net, giving South Melbourne FC its first home goal for 2009, and more importantly the lead.
All of a sudden the home side was in control, and chances were coming thick and fast, with the best being a Shane Nunes left foot rocket that smashed into the crossbar. Despite the chances, the Knights held firm, largely thanks to Craig Elvin who had an extremely solid match. However even Elvin could not stop South from doubling its lead in the 65th minute. Ozdemir’s poor goal kick was headed back into the South attack by left-back Rhodri Payne. Coveny had stayed onside and as a result, Payne’s header put him through one-on-one with Ozdemir. Coveny calmly put the ball between Ozdemir’s legs and into the back of the net for a 2-0 lead and at the same time notch his 98th career goal for South.
By this stage the home side was in complete control, and should have had a third but for poor finishing. The Knights had barely been a threat, but out of nowhere, pulled a goal back in the 70th minute. A poor mix-up in the South defence saw the ball spill to Dugandzic, whose finish was full of class as he beat Tomich at his near post to halve the lead.
Suddenly South began to panic unnecessarily, which allowed the Knights back into the contest. However despite some scary moments, the defence held firm. In fact South should have wrapped the match up but for poor decision-making up forward and Elvin’s class in defence for the Knights. Goran Zoric was the most unlucky, with his shot being cleared off the line by Elvin. After over 5 minutes of injury time, referee Damir Basic’s fulltime whistle signalled a very hard-fought but well-earnt 2-1 victory for the home team.
South Melbourne’s next match is away to the Whittlesea Zebras on Monday March 30th, with the venue still to be confirmed. Kick-off is scheduled for 8:30pm. The Melbourne Knights’ next match is away to Green Gully, on Saturday March 28th. Kick-off is at 5pm.
South Melbourne 2-1 Melbourne Knights
(Goal Scorers: SMFC – De Moraes 50’, Coveny 65’. Knights – Dugandzic 70’)
SMFC Line-up: Tommi Tomich, Shane Nunes, Rhodri Payne, Steve O’Dor, Vaughan Coveny, Joseph Youssef, Rama Tavsancioglu, Stiven Mrkela, Goran Zoric, Fernando De Moraes, Sebastian Petrovic
Melbourne Knights Line-up: Savas Ozdemir, Jamie Cumming, John Fitzgerald, James Sherman, Matthew Grbesa, Mate Dugandzcic, Joshua Groenewald, Greg Draper, Dimitri Hatzimouratis, Craig Elvin, Alex Kiratzoglou.