Friday, 16 April 2010 10:22 AM
By John Kyrou – Photo by Cindy Nitsos
South Melbourne FC travels to Somers Street on Sunday for the derby match against old foe Melbourne Knights. South will be hoping for three points following the disappointing 1-1 home draw against Heidelberg last Sunday, whilst the Knights will be looking to record their third victory in a row to kick-start their season after a slow beginning.
South left it late against Heidelberg United last Sunday but were able to level the match in injury time thanks to Carl Recchia’s header. Late goals against Altona (round 1), Bentleigh (round 2) and Dandenong (round 5) have shown that South is able to sustain pressure on the opposition right until the final whistle, something that will be needed on Sunday against the Knights. Despite starting the season slowly with only two points from their first four matches, the Knights have bounced back into form following a 3-1 home win over Richmond and then a 2-0 away victory against second-placed Oakleigh last Friday night.
The Knights player that the South defenders need to keep a close watch on is Jean Dubois, who has scored in both of the Knights’ recent victories. It is no coincidence that when Dubois has scored the Knights have won, so the key to South getting a positive result is to shut him out of the game. On the other side, the Knights will be looking to suppress South’s midfield, notably Recchia, Daniel Vasilevski and Fernando De Moraes. Despite the side not having the best of games against Heidelberg, the side still created several goal scoring chances thanks to these players. Despite a niggling injury, De Moraes made an impact off the bench, as did Yusuf Yusuf, who was outstanding by constantly taking on the Bergers defenders and beating them before sending in crosses.
The Melbourne Knights fixture is always a highlight for South players and fans, as the two sides have battled out many memorable games over the years. South fans will be encouraged by the fact that the club has a very good record at Somers Street, especially in the National Soccer League. Since both sides resumed life in the VPL in 2005, South’s record at Somers Street has been two wins, two draws and a loss.
In the corresponding fixture last season, South opened the scoring after 18 minutes thanks to a power strike by Joseph Youssef, however Greg Draper’s equalising goal after 66 minutes meant that the match finished in a stalemate, despite both sides having good chances to score again.
Sunday’s match will be yet another installment in a cross-town rivalry between two powerhouse Australian clubs that have battled in many memorable games both on a State and National League level.
Kick-off is 3pm on Sunday at Knights Stadium.