Monday, 6 April 2009 9:23 AM
South Melbourne has made it four wins in a row after trouncing the top placed Richmond in a one sided match on Sunday at Bob Jane Stadium.
With Richmond undefeated in 2009, they approached the game against the in-form Blues as warm favourites, with South having played on the unusual day of Tuesday night against Whittlesea in the lead up to the match.
It was the home side that came out of the blocks running, with Goran Zoric and Vaughan Coveny combining early to create a half chance early on. With the keeper to beat, Zoric hit a timid drive into the arms of the prying Peter Zois.
South however did find the net in the 26th minute. A wonderful sweeping move forward culminated in the ball finding the South wingback Rhodri Payne on the left hand side of the area. Payne then launched a wonderful swinging ball into the area and onto the head of Joseph Youssef, who nodded the ball past the hapless Zois.
South continued to dominate the game and possession in the remaining minutes of the half, though to the frustration of the coach, the final ball was continually letting down the hard work of his side further up the park.
It was also the case with Richmond, who could not muster any chance of note to respond to the South Melbourne goal.
This however changed in the second half when the home side came out like a house on fire.
In the first five minutes of the half both Zoric and Coveny missed chances from just outside the area, with both players opting to try and beat Zois from long range. Also on both occasions the ball flew well wide of the target.
South continued to pepper the Richmond goal and should have had a second goal in the 57th minute when a mazy run by Zoric concluded in the diminutive attacking player playing a sublime square ball into the path of the wide open Sebastian Petrovic. With the keeper to beat, Petrovic slammed the ball over the bar from just inside the area.
The Blues were finally rewarded in the 62nd minute after some delightful work in the midfield allowed for Coveny to find the ball in acres of space just outside the area. With the Richmond defence unwilling to close down the veteran, he opted to hit a steaming 30 metre pile driver at the goal. With the keeper helpless, the ball sailed over the top of him, before sensationally dipping below the bar to smash into the back of the net in what will be one of the goal of the year contenders.
With Coveny now on 99 career goals at South Melbourne, he was intent on trying to claim his 100th career goal for the club. He came agonisingly close in the 66th minute, when he launched a free kick from just outside the area inches wide of the target.
The 282 game veteran continued to torment the Richmond defence at every opportunity and in the 65th minute he was once again released by Youssef down the right hand side of attack. With the defence backtracking, Coveny hit a hard shot toward goal, only for the ball to be deflected out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Zoric hit a well placed cross to the back post to which Coveny managed to header into the upright and away for a goal-kick.
In the 77th minute, the man known as the “Horse” was seemingly on track to finally break the milestone after a lovely ball by young Sam Torrens found its way into the path of Coveny. With the ball bouncing in the area and no Richmond defender able to track him down, Coveny then launched a chipped attempt on target, only for the ball to be caught by Zois, who could not believe that the veteran had not managed to lob his shot over the top of him and into the back of the net.
With the veteran in scintillating form, he was substituted in the 80th minute to the applause of the boisterous and fanatical South Melbourne faithful, who were appreciative of his man of the match performance.
With Richmond merely trying to contain a rampant South attack, they launched a half effort on goal in the 81st minute through Richard Cardozo, who tried to score from well outside the area. With no real power behind the goal, Tommi Tomich was able to catch the ball without any real concern.
South closed off the comprehensive victory in the 84th minute when some lovely interplay by Zoric and De Nittis on the half way line concluded with De Nittis playing a well weighted ball past the stagnant defence and into the path of speedy Zoric. With only Zois to beat, Zoric tucked the ball onto the right side of the keeper to score his 6th goal of the season in as many games.
South will have a two week break before playing Green Gully in two weeks time at Green Gully reserve.
SMFC 3 (Youssef, Coveny, Zoric)
Tommi Tomich, Shane Nunes, Rhodri Payne, Steven O’Dor, Eddie Cetkin, Vaughan Coveny, Joseph Youssef, Rama Tavsancioglu, Fernando De Moraes, Goran Zoric, Sebastian Petrovic
Peter Zois, Danny Black, Erhan Karahan, Terry Antoniadis, Stuart McCluskey, Dimitri Tsiaris, Richie Cardozo, Nick Kalambokis, Lorenz Kindtner, Nick Robinson, Andrew Viola