Monday, 22 June 2009 11:50 AM
Click here to view smfcTV highlights of the game
Photo by Craig Varty
South Melbourne has climbed back up into second position on the table following a frustrating 1-1 draw with the Melbourne Knights on Sunday.
In front of a healthy derby day crowd at Mansion Stadium, the Blues came out of the blocks early, with a long range effort by Joseph Youssef being brilliantly turned around the bar by the Knights goalkeeper.
South continued to pressure the Knights defence and were rewarded in the 23rd minute of the game when a Sebastian Petrovich long range attempt was deflected into the path of Joseph Youssef. Instinctively, Youssef hit a low drive into the back of the net to give his side the lead.
Youssef continued to dominate in the middle of the park and could have had a second only moments later when he managed to win possession in the middle before launching himself forward. However in an unselfish bit of play, Youssef opted to play a ball into the offside Goran Zoric rather than hitting a shot on the target from the edge of the area.
The second half commenced in a completely opposite manner, with the Knights coming out of the tunnel in a far more focussed manner.
In their first real chance of the game, a swirling Mate Dugandzic was headed across goal on the back post, allowing for an unmarked Greg Draper to steer a header into the top corner from point-blank range to send the vocal home crowd into raptures.
South responded by launching a series of attacks of their own, starting via a storming run down the right hand flank by youngster Francesco Stella. The midfielder then hit a beautiful cross into the path of Vaughan Coveny, who had his header deflected into the path of Sam Torrens. With only the keeper to beat from 3 yards out, Torrens was unable to steer his shot onto the target.
The Blues continued to burst forward at every opportunity, with an exceptional interception and final ball by Goran Zoric unlocking the Knights defence and allowing from Youssef to find himself clear on goal. With one Knights defender tracking back and two team-mates by his side, Youssef opted to take the chance himself, only for the ball to be sensationally blocked by the solitary Knights defender.
Youssef was released one final time moments later when yet another Zoric ball unlocked the stagnant Knights defence. With only the keeper ahead of him, Youssef shaped to have the shot from just inside the area. However to the amazement of the travelling contingent, a desperate Craig Elvin somehow launched himself at the ball and thwarted Youssef with an exceptional tackle to secure a point for his team.
With the draw South jump above Altona Magic into second spot, with an important Foundation Round game against Whittlesea to be played at Bob Jane Stadium next Sunday. Kick-off is at 4pm.