Friday, 7 August 2009 10:50 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC plays its most important match of the season tomorrow night when the third-placed Blues travel to Altona to take on the fourth-placed Altona Magic. A positive result is absolutely crucial for South as a win could virtually seal a top three finish for the season while a loss could see it drop to fifth spot and putting a finals appearance severely at risk.
South heads into the match on the back of a hard-fought yet at times fortunate 1-1 draw away to the Oakleigh Cannons last Friday night. The side did well to fight back after going 1-0 down and had an excellent final 20 minutes with numerous opportunities created, but was lucky to escape with a point in the end as Oakleigh’s Juan Nilo missed an open goal deep into injury time.
Altona heads into the match having demolished the relegated Whittlesea Zebras 5-0 at Paisley Park last Saturday. The result means that Altona has joined South on 34 points but the Magic have a game in hand, hence the extreme importance of South getting all three points tomorrow night.
To make things even harder, South will have to psychologically deal with the fact that in their four meetings away to the Magic since dropping to the VPL, the side has not registered a single point at Paisely Park, losing all four matches. Vaughan Coveny is the only South player to have scored at the venue in this time and the veteran, as well as Gianni De Nittis and Goran Zoric, will be keen to score tomorrow night to break the hoodoo and almost certainly cement a top three position for South in the league.
Kick-off is at 17.30 tomorrow (Saturday) evening at Paisley Park.