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South Melbourne FC vs Sunshine George Cross – Final Round Preview

South Melbourne FC vs Sunshine George Cross – Final Round Preview

Friday, 14 August 2009 12:20 PM

By John Kyrou

On Saturday afternoon, South Melbourne FC hosts Sunshine George Cross in the final round of the home & away season in a match that has enormous stakes for both sides.

South blew a glorious chance to maintain a top three standing in the league last Saturday when it was defeated 3-0 by Altona. The result meant that South slipped to fifth spot, ahead of Heidelberg only on goal difference. The loss was South’s heaviest defeat of the season and one that could not have come at a worse time considering the massive stakes on offer. However due to Oakleigh defeating Altona mid-week, the third-placed Magic remain three points ahead of South and with an inferior goal difference.

Incredibly, a South win could see it still finish in the top three and with it claim a double chance heading into the finals series. On the flipside, a draw will see the team nervously relying on other results going right in order to sneak into an Elimination Final. A loss will see George Cross leap-frog South on the table and confirm South’s non-attendance at the finals for a third consecutive season.

Sunshine come into Saturday’s match having just managed to keep their finals hopes alive with a 2-2 draw against the Whittlesea Zebras last Monday evening. At 2-0 down with 15 minutes remaining and with their finals hopes for 2009 looking gone, George Cross dug deep and snatched a precious point thanks to a double from Wayne Wallace. The result leaves Sunshine two points behind fifth, therefore meaning the Georgies will need to defeat South as well as hope that Dandenong defeats Heidelberg in order to sneak into fifth spot.

The matches between the two sides are always well-fought and Sunshine has a good record at Bob Jane Stadium, having recorded one win, one draw and an unlucky loss. South has not defeated George Cross since the 0-2 victory at Chaplin Reserve in 2007, with Yusuf Yusuf and Ricky Diaco scoring the goals. It has not defeated Sunshine at Bob Jane Stadium since early 2005 when it prevailed 2-0 thanks to goals from Ryan Dinse and Bill Natsioulas. The match will be the 55th league meeting between the two sides, with South winning 24, George Cross 16 with 15 draws.

With all matches starting at 15.00 on Saturday and being played simultaneously, there is no doubt that no matter what the final result, there will be nerves on the terraces as updates from the other venues come through.

With all sorts of combinations possible, the scenarios have been broken down below with the VPL ladder.

2. Hume City – 37 points +24 GD
3. Altona Magic – 37 points +10 GD
4. Green Gully – 35 points +7 GD
5. South Melbourne FC – 34 points +18 GD
6. Heidelberg – 34 points +10 GD
7. Sunshine GC – 32 points +1 GD

South will finish 2nd if:

* South beat Sunshine by 3 goals or more
* Hume loses to Oakleigh by 3 goals or more
* Altona loses to the Melbourne Knights
* Green Gully draws or loses to Richmond

South will finish 3rd if:

* Hume draws or wins against Oakleigh
* South beat Sunshine
* Altona loses to the Melbourne Knights
* Green Gully draws or loses to Richmond

South will finish 4th if:

* Hume and Altona draw or win their matches
* South beat Sunshine and Green Gully draws with Richmond


South draw with Sunshine and Green Gully loses to Richmond

South will finish 5th if:

* Hume and Altona record a point in their matches
* Green Gully, South and Heidelberg all win or draw their games


Green Gully earns at least a point and both South and Heidelberg draw their matches

South will MISS the finals if:

* Sunshine beats South


South draws to Sunshine and Heidelberg defeats Dandenong

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