Sunday, 27 February 2011 11:13 AM
By John Kyrou
It was a tennis scoreline at the Serbian Sports Centre on Friday night as South Melbourne FC defeated the Springvale White Eagles 6-4, in what will surely be one of the more remarkable Victorian Premier League matches of 2011. In a match that saw an astonishing eight goals scored in the second half, South scored all six of its goals in the final 45 minutes to complete the comeback following a 2-0 deficit at the half time break.
Springvale began the game determined to win its first points for 2011 following consecutive defeats in their opening two Victorian Premier League matches. Former South forward Goran Zoric played his first match for the White Eagles this season and it was his inclusion in the home side’s starting eleven that caused South all sorts of problems in the first half. It was Zoric who won a penalty for the home side in the 24th minute after being fouled in the area by Sebastian Petrovic, however, luckily for South the resulting penalty was blasted onto the crossbar by Gordan Mrdic. South’s luck ran out only minutes later when Zoric opened the scoring and then doubled the home side’s lead with two excellently taken goals. His first was scored with a 25 yard effort that beat Stefaan Sardelic in the 27th minute, with his second goal scored by cutting in from the left and beating two defenders before rifling a shot into the bottom left corner in the 33rd minute.
South coach Eddie Krncevic immediately made changes during the halftime period and substituted both Gianni De Nittis and Petrovic with Kamal Ibrahim and Kyle Joryeff respectively. An early goal was desperately needed and it was Fernando De Moraes who stepped up for the away side five minutes into the half, when he turned his marker and scored from the edge of the area with a left footed shot that beat goalkeeper Scott Agustin at his near post. The goal was De Moraes’ 49th Victorian Premier League goal for the Club, putting the midfielder in outright eighth position (overtaking Doug Brown) in South’s all-time highest goal scorers in National/State/Victorian Premier League competition.
All of a sudden South were back in the contest and Springvale’s momentum and confidence had been clearly dented. South continued to attack in numbers and equalised minutes later when Agustin spilt the ball after going outside his goal area. This allowed debutant Ibrahim the simple task of passing the ball into the empty net to score his first goal for the away side. Kliment Taseski, also making his South debut on the night, then completed South’s amazing turnaround by scoring a sensational left-footed goal from outside the area. The two boys had made an immediate impact after arriving at the Club on loan from A-League side Melbourne Heart FC.
The away side clearly now had all the run and continued to attack, trying to score a fourth goal to wrap up the three points. However, against the run of play Springvale were awarded a penalty following a shirt pull by Steven Topalovic on Milos Lujic in the area. Sardelic went the right way but could not get enough of his hand on the ball to keep it out of the net as Zoran Vukas converted Springvale’s spot-kick to make the score 3-3. However amazingly, South regained the lead only a minute later when a stinging shot from outside the area by De Moraes rattled the crossbar before falling nicely for Carl Recchia to head into the empty net. Marinos Gasparis then played Jesse Krncevic a wonderful through-ball that the forward finished after rounding Agustin before rolling the ball into the empty goal to make it 3-5.
With a 5-3 lead and with time running out, it seemed like South had the three points in the bag. However to Springvale’s credit, the home side continued fighting right until the end and scored again as the match neared its conclusion. A cut-back from the right was parried into Tome Racunica’s path and the White Eagles player smashed the ball home to make the score 5-4 and set up a nervous at the Serbian Sports Centre. However, Krncevic made absolutely sure of the three points by chipping Agustin after De Moraes put him through one-on-one with the White Eagles goalkeeper. De Moraes had enjoyed an outstanding match but disappointingly hobbled off the ground with an injury following a bad tackle from Lujic that saw the Springvale player only cautioned. The full-time whistle moments later completed a remarkably entertaining match for neutral spectators and, in the end, for South supporters as well.
South Melbourne FC’s next match is against the Victorian Training Centre (VTC) this Wednesday 2 March at Port Melbourne’s SS Anderson Reserve, with kick-off at 20:30. Supporters are reminded that the Club’s two mid-week matches against the VTC this season count for competition points and as a result should be treated like any normal Victorian Premier League fixture.
FINAL SCORE: SPRINGVALE WHITE EAGLES 4-6 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 2-0)
1-0: Goran Zoric (28’)
2-0: Goran Zoric (33’)
2-1: Fernando De Moraes (50’)
2-2: Kamal Ibrahim (58’)
2-3: Kliment Taseski (65’)
3-3: Zoran Vukas (66’pk)
3-4: Carl Recchia (79’)
3-5: Jesse Krncevic (87’)
4-5: Tome Racunica (87’)
4-6: Jesse Krncevic (89’)
Springvale White Eagles
2. Adam EWIN, 7. Tome RACUNICA, 8. Gordan MRDIC, 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Dejan RADOJICIC, 12. Dushan NIKOLIC (4. Boris BAJIC 75′), 16. Dominic D’ANGELO, 17. Zoran VUKAS (24. Lewis KARANICOLAS 80′), 18. Nikolas VELJOVIC (11. Rados TOMIC 75′), 19. Goran ZORIC, 23. Scott AGUSTIN
South Melbourne FC
1. Stefaan SARDELIC, 3. Rhodri PAYNE, 4. Steven O’DOR, 6. Steven TOPALOVIC, 8. Carl RECCHIA, 9. Gianni DE NITTIS (14. Kamal IBRAHIM 46′), 10. Kliment TASESKI, 11. Jesse KRNCEVIC, 15. Fernando DE MORAES (24. Nick JACOBS 89′), 18. Marinos GASPARIS, 23. Sebastian PETROVIC (25. Kyle JORYEFF 46′)
SMFC Man of the Match: Fernando De Moraes
Venue: Serbian Sports Centre (White Eagles Stadium)
Date: Friday 25 February 2011