Monday, 22 March 2010 12:24 AM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC has secured its first win of the season, following a hard-fought 2-1 victory over Green Gully at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday evening. The home side won the match following a brace from Fernando De Moraes.
South entered the match on the back of a 3-3 away draw against Northcote City, whilst the visitors arrived at Lakeside following a 2-1 home defeat against Oakleigh last week. A win was essential for both sides in order to jump into the top five.
South began the match strongly and opened the scoring in the fifth minute from the penalty spot. Joseph Youssef held the ball up well and was subsequently brought down in the box following an attempted turn and shot. De Moraes stepped up to the spot and dispatched his penalty clinically by slotting it to the right of Gully keeper Kenny Gerochristodoulou, who went the wrong way.
Gully equalised just over five minutes later following an error in midfield from South. The loose ball was pounced upon by Andy Vargas and his excellent through ball put Gary Wales one-on-one with Peter Zois and Wales levelled the scores. Zois prevented South from going 1-2 down after tipping a Steve Burton shot from distance onto the crossbar just before the halftime break.
In the second half, both sides had a few half-chances to take the lead but the score remained locked at 1-1. That was until an outstanding goal from De Moraes broke the game open and ultimately ended the scoring for the afternoon. Captain Rama Tavsancioglu played a beautiful through ball for the Futsalroo to latch onto. De Moraes controlled the ball nicely before smashing it past the advancing Gerochristodoulou, who had no chance of saving the shot. The goal was De Moraes’ fifth in four matches this season.
The remainder of the match was a real battle, as Gully pressed for an equalising goal whilst South tried to catch Gully on the break. De Moraes almost had a hat trick but was denied by a fantastic save from Gerochristodoulou following a vicious shot from the left side of the box. Substitute Yusuf Yusuf got past his marker on the right hand side and played an excellent low cross to the near post that unfortunately saw no South player able to reach in time. Gully then nearly levelled when substitute Michael Anderson put the ball wide of Zois’ goals, with good defensive pressure from James Stefanou contributing to the end miss.
Zois proved to be the hero for the afternoon when he made an outstanding double save in the final seconds of the match. The initial shot from Gully drew out an excellent reflex save from the South custodian, before he quickly bounced to his feet and pushed away a second incoming shot from captain Jeffrey Fleming. The ball was eventually cleared with the sound of the referee’s final whistle, giving South a grinding victory and moving the home side into the top five.
South travels to George Andrews Reserve next Saturday to face the Dandenong Thunder.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 2-1 GREEN GULLY (HT: 1-1)
Peter Zois, Stiven Mrkela, Steve O’Dor, Daniel Vasilevski, Carl Recchia (Sebastian Petrovic 75’), Gianni De Nittis, Joseph Youssef (Yusuf Yusuf 21’), Rama Tavsancioglu, Fernando De Moraes, Marinos Gasparis (Sam Torrens 70’), James Stefanou
(Goals: Fernando De Moraes 5’ pk, 56’)
Kenny Gerochristodoulou, Steve Burton, Cameron Drake, Jeffrey Fleming, Josh Groenewald (Michael Anderson 77’), Gary Wales (Jonathon Munoz 64’), Graham Hockless, Nick Robinson, Ryan Ollerton, Mile Medjedevic, Andy Vargas
(Goal: Gary Wales 10’)
SMFC Man of the Match: Fernando De Moraes
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium
Date: Sunday 21st March 2010