Friday, 23 April 2010 11:04 AM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC faces its toughest test of the season on Sunday when the side travels to Broadmeadows Valley Park to face Hume City in the ANZAC Day Cup clash. Both sides currently sit in the top four of the League standings and will both be out for the three points to further cement their places in the higher rungs of the ladder.
Hume goes into the game on the back of its first loss in 2010, going down 1-3 against the Oakleigh Cannons last week. South enters the match in winning form, having beaten the Melbourne Knights 1-0 at Somers Street in what was a typically tough derby fixture that could have gone either way. The hero for South was Joe Keenan, who scored a brilliant left-footed goal to open his goal scoring account at South in only his second League game for the club.
The win against the Knights was excellent, however the upcoming games against Hume, Richmond and Oakleigh – who are all currently in the top four – will really put South to the test and give a great indication as to how far the team will go in 2010. The most encouraging fact about South’s season so far has been that the side has battled right through to the end of every match and as a result deservedly sit in the top four. With Keenan regaining fitness and hitting form, Peter Zois’ defence starting to win clean sheets and South’s midfielders overcoming niggling injuries, the side is well placed to go for a positive result on Sunday.
Hume’s two brick walls that South will need to find a way to break down are goalkeeper Lupce Acevski and defensive midfielder Tansel Baser. Acevski has been of the best goalkeepers in the League for a decade and this has not changed at all in 2010. Baser, still a huge favourite of many South supporters, has been rock-solid just ahead of the Hume defence, with excellent timing of tackles and equally as good distribution of the ball once in possession. If South can find a way past both on Sunday then the away side will no doubt achieve a positive result.
In what was the inaugural ANZAC Day Cup match in the corresponding fixture last season, goals from Vaughan Coveny and Sebastian Petrovic gave South a 2-1 away win. The win was doubly special because Coveny’s goal was his 100th League goal for South Melbourne FC. Since Hume entered the Victorian Premier League in 2008, the two sides have met five times, with Hume winning on three occasions and South winning twice.
Sunday’s match will kick off at 3:30pm, with a special ANZAC Day ceremony commencing from 3pm.