Monday, 12 April 2010 12:12 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC has fought out a 1-1 draw against Heidelberg United in the final derby at Bob Jane Stadium on Sunday. An injury-time header by Carl Recchia cancelled out Hamid Basma’s opening goal for the away side and maintained South’s undefeated record in the VPL in 2010.
The home side went into the game desperate for a League win over the Bergers for the first time since 2006. The signs early in the match pointed to a South win as the home team created chances through Marinos Gasparis and Daniel Vasilevski; however Steven Tilovski in the Heidelberg goal was up to the task. The best chance for South came from Gianni De Nittis, who beat the offside trap and found himself one-on-one with Tilovski; however the young forward hit his shot straight at the custodian.
Heidelberg had at times looked dangerous through the presence of Osagie Ederaro up front. Ederaro had been continually shut down by the South defence but almost scored when a failed clearance by the South defence fell to him. Ederaro’s quick shot dribbled just wide of South keeper Peter Zois’ near post, keeping the sides level.
Shortly before halftime, the Bergers managed to open the scoring. Another failed clearance by the South defence resulted in a shot from outside the area. Zois managed to parry the shot well but the ball unfortunately fell perfectly for Basma to tap home.
In the second half, South acting coach David Lugli made changes by introducing Fernando De Moraes and Yusuf Yusuf into the match. The substitutions were effective as South began to get on top of their Heidelberg opponents; however despite the possession the home side could not muster many goal scoring opportunities. Recchia found some space on the edge of the area but was unable to keep his shot under the crossbar, whilst De Moraes had a half-hearted penalty appeal rejected.
With the match ticking into injury time, a free kick from midfield was floated into the penalty area. Centre-back Steve O’Dor’s header fell to Recchia at the back post. Tilovski had rushed off his line to try and collect the ball and as a result Recchia lifted his header over the custodian and into the back of the net, collecting what the home side will see as a very important point against their old rivals.
South Melbourne FC travels to Somers Street next Sunday to face another old rival in the Melbourne Knights, with the match kicking off at 3pm.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-1 HEIDELBERG UNITED (HT: 0-1)
Peter Zois, Stiven Mrkela, Steve O’Dor, Daniel Vasilevski, James Stefanou (Eddie Cetkin 46’), Carl Recchia, Gianni De Nittis, Rama Tavsancioglu, Marinos Gasparis (Fernando De Moraes 60’), Sebastian Petrovic, Joe Keenan (Yusuf Yusuf 75’)
(Scorer: Carl Recchia 91’)
Steven Tilovski, John Lazaridis, Sayeedreza Hossaini (Kurt Crnic 61’), Paul Miller, Yanni Galanos, Hrvoje Matkovic, Josip Kozic, Hamid Basma (Saso Alexovski 77’), Luke Byles (Melo Junior 45’), Craig Elvin, Osagie Ederaro
(Scorer: Hamid Basma 42’)
SMFC Man of the Match: Yusuf Yusuf
Venue: Bob Jane Stadium
Date: Sunday 11th April 2010