Friday, 7 May 2010 9:34 AM
By John Kyrou – Photo by George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne FC hosts its first ‘home game away from home’ when it welcomes League leaders Oakleigh to the Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Saturday afternoon. The match is must-win for South as three points will put the Blues back into the top three and even possibly the top of the League provided other results fall kindly.
Both sides go into the match having lost last Friday night. South registered its first on-field loss of the season in the 3-0 defeat to Richmond at Kevin Bartlett Reserve, whilst Oakleigh were surprisingly beaten 2-1 by Sunshine George Cross at Jack Edwards Reserve. Despite these setbacks, both sides are still in the top four, with South facing its third consecutive match against an opponent in the top four.
South’s defence will be looking to make amends against the Cannons on Saturday. Oakleigh’s front men in Jerry Karpeh and Michael Curcija will be looking to poach goals so the South defence will need to be right on top of its game for the challenge. Up front, South’s forwards missed a series of gilt-edged chances against Richmond and coach Vaughan Coveny will be hoping that the forwards can rediscover their devastating form against Hume two weeks ago and hit the back of the net on Saturday.
If selected, midfielder Sebastian Petrovic will notch up his 50th League game for South Melbourne FC. ‘Seba’ first played for South in the old National Soccer League and since then has had two separate stints at the club, the first being in 2005 and the second being from 2008 onwards. Petrovic’s 2009 season was an excellent one and as a result he was rightly awarded the Theo Marmaras Medal for Most Valuable Player, as well as being crowned the Clarendon Corner’s Most Valuable Player.
The match kicks off at 3pm on Saturday at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. South Melbourne FC players will wear black armbands and a minute’s silence will be held prior to the match out of respect for former player Antonis Karagiannis, a foundation player in 1960 who sadly passed away last weekend.