South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Match Preview: Sunshine George Cross v SMFC

Match Preview: Sunshine George Cross v SMFC

Thursday, 14 May 2009 10:10 AM

By John Kyrou | Photo by Craig Varty

South Melbourne FC will be looking to firmly hold onto second spot on the league ladder when it travels to Chaplin Reserve on Sunday to take on Sunshine George Cross. An away win will almost certainly see South complete the first half of the season in second position on the table.

Since beginning 2009 with two straight losses at home, the Blues have been undefeated in eight matches. South will enter Sunday’s match in good form, following a 2-0 home win against Altona last Sunday, its third clean sheet of the season. The victory allowed South to cling onto second spot thanks to a slightly better goal difference over third-placed Heidelberg.

Sunshine will enter Sunday’s match on a four match unbeaten run. Like South, George Cross also began the season slowly but in recent weeks has consolidated its position in the league. Sunshine is only one point from 5th position despite presently sitting in eighth spot and will no doubt be highly motivated for a positive result against South to further push up the table.

The Sunshine players for the South defence to watch out for are Johnny Sapazovski and George Papadopoulos. The pair has only scored four goals in total this season; however those goals have directly influenced George Cross’ unbeaten form in the last month. South’s defence has recorded two clean sheets in a row however has proven to be shaky. If the defence is able to contain Papadopoulos and Sapazovski’s influence on the match, the away side should be able to force a result.

Sunday’s contest will be the 54th league meeting between the two sides. Battles have been taking place in both the VPL and the old National Soccer League since 1961. In the first ever league meeting between the sides, South defeated George Cross 1-0 in front of around 8,500 spectators at Olympic Park. Prior to joining the NSL in 1977, South enjoyed 13 wins, George Cross won 8 times and the sides drew 11 times.

The battles resumed when Sunshine joined the NSL in 1984. South enjoyed 9 wins, George Cross 6 and only one draw was registered. One of South’s greatest wins was in the 1990/91 season when the home side came back from a 1-3 deficit to beat George Cross 4-3 at Middle Park. It has been all square since South’s return to the VPL in 2005, with 2 wins apiece and 2 draws between the two sides.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3pm at Chaplin Reserve.

Sunshine George Cross v South Melbourne FC – An Overview

First VPL match:
Round 5, 1961
South Melbourne 1-0 Sunshine George Cross
(SMFC Goal: Savvas Salapasidis)
Venue: Olympic Park

First NSL match:
Round 8, 1984
South Melbourne 0-1 Sunshine George Cross
Venue: Middle Park

Last NSL match:
Round 20, 1990/91
Sunshine George Cross 0-1 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goal: Con Boutsianis)
Venue: Skinner Reserve

Last VPL match:
Round 24, 2007
South Melbourne 0-2 Sunshine George Cross
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium

Total Games (League): 54
South Melbourne Wins: 24
Sunshine GC Wins: 16
Draws: 14

Highest Aggregate Score:
Round 17, 1989 NSL
Sunshine George Cross 2-5 South Melbourne
(SMFC Goals: Steve Tasios x2, Harry Micheil, Ange Postecoglou, Kimon Taliadoros)
Venue: Chaplin Reserve

Round 7, 1990/91 NSL
South Melbourne 4-3 Sunshine George Cross
(SMFC Goals: Peter Tsolakis, Mike Petersen, Paul Trimboli, Kimon Taliadoros)
Venue: Middle Park

SMFC Biggest Win:
Round 3, 1974 VPL
South Melbourne 5-1 Sunshine George Cross
(SMFC Goals: Jim Armstrong x2, Andy Savage, Ron Smith, Nick Nechvoglod)
Venue: Middle Park

SGC Biggest Win:
Round 6, 1988 NSL
South Melbourne 1-4 Sunshine George Cross
(SMFC Goal: Steve Tasios)
Venue: Middle Park

Last 5 Meetings:

Round 24, 2007
South Melbourne 0-2 George Cross   (Bob Jane Stadium)

Round 15, 2007
George Cross 0-2 South Melbourne   (Chaplin Reserve)

Round 20, 2006
South Melbourne 1-1 George Cross   (Bob Jane Stadium)

Round 7, 2006
George Cross 1-0 South Melbourne   (Chaplin Reserve)

Round 21, 2005
George Cross 0-0 South Melbourne   (Chaplin Reserve)

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