Friday, 11 February 2011 11:32 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC will play Heidelberg United in the final of the 2011 Hellenic Cup this Saturday night after defeating the Bentleigh Greens last Tuesday evening. The win continued South’s perfect pre-season in Cup competitions after winning the Hill Street/Thrifty Cup in Tasmania before securing victory in all its Hellenic Cup matches.
After the 5-0 win over South Hobart in the Hill Street/Thrifty Cup final on January 16, South opened its Hellenic Cup group stage campaign a week later against Box Hill United. A double from Jesse Krncevic and goals from Marinos Gasparis, Rhodri Payne and Fernando De Moraes gave South a comfortable 5-0 win. The good form continued the following Thursday when South defeated Beaumaris 9-1. South finished on top of the group after defeating Kingston City 5-0 in the last match to progress to the quarter finals to play Altona East Phoenix.
A strong 4-0 victory against the Phoenix last Saturday set up South’s first serious test in 2011, as Eddie Krncevic’s side met Premier League opposition in the Bentleigh Greens in the semi final. Krncevic fielded a strong line-up and the team put in a good performance as it overcame the Greens 2-0 despite a few scares near the end. A wonderful curling free kick from Daniel Vasilevski and a calmly converted penalty by De Moraes was enough to set up Saturday’s final against Heidelberg United.
This will be South’s third consecutive final appearance in the Hellenic Cup. In 2009, South easily accounted for Heidelberg 3-0 at John Cain Memorial Park and were the better side in the 2010 final before losing 5-4 on a penalty shoot-out against Bentleigh following a 0-0 stalemate in both normal and extra time.
Unfortunately for the Under-21s, the team lost their semi final 1-0 against Bentleigh but was largely unlucky not to at least send their match into extra time.
Saturday evening’s final will kick off at 18:45 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex.
South Melbourne FC – Hellenic Cup 2011 Summary
Date Opponent Score SMFC Goal Scorer(s) January Sun 23 Box Hill United 5-0 Krncevic 2, Gasparis, Payne, De Moraes Thurs 27 Beaumaris 9-1 Krncevic 4, Joryeff 3, De Moraes, Minopoulos February Tues 1 Kingston City 5-0 Krncevic 3, De Moraes 2 Sat 5 Altona East Phoenix 4-0 Krncevic 2, Vasilevski, De Moraes Tues 8 Bentleigh Greens 2-0 Vasilevski, De Moraes (p)
11 – Jesse Krncevic
6 – Fernando De Moraes
3 – Kyle Joryeff
2 – Daniel Vasilevski
1 – Marinos Gasparis, Rhodri Payne, Leigh Minopoulos