Thursday, 19 May 2011 1:07 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC hosts the Springvale White Eagles on Sunday afternoon in what is simply a must-win match for the Club following an extremely disappointing month of football. South has slipped out of the top five as a result and no less than three points will be expected in order to change the Club’s fortunes around.
South go into Sunday’s match on a horror run of form that has seen the side gain only one point from four Victorian Premier League matches, only scoring two penalties and conceding 13 goals in the process. The most recent result was a heartbreaking 3-2 defeat against Green Gully at Green Gully Reserve last Saturday afternoon, with South conceding three disappointing goals despite playing patches of good football and fighting back twice after going behind on the scoreboard. The positive news from last week was the return of captain Steven O’Dor, Jesse Krncevic, Ljubo Milicevic, Trent Waterson and Sebastian Petrovic. Despite the loss against Gully, the side looked a great deal better with the return of these players and will no doubt be hoping that they will help the team get over the line against Springvale on Sunday.
The White Eagles are in deeper trouble, with only two points from its last five games and an overall goal difference of -22 thanks largely to a 0-5 home defeat against Green Gully and a 9-0 away defeat against Heidelberg. This leaves Springvale in third-last on the Victorian Premier League table and fighting tooth and nail to ensure that it does not go straight back down a division after being promoted at the end of last season. The White Eagles gained a positive result last weekend with a 1-1 draw against Bentleigh and will be hoping to go one better and win three points against South on Sunday. One of their most dangerous players is former South forward Goran Zoric, who has scored five goals in the League this season and who tore South apart in the match between the two sides at the Serbian Sports Centre earlier this season. On that day, two goals from Zoric gave Springvale a 2-0 halftime lead before South ran riot in the second half with six goals to win by a tennis scoreline of 4-6.
The last time South hosted Springvale was on Sunday 13 May 2007 at Lakeside Stadium. A double from Nathan Caldwell (9′, 59′) and singles from Fernando De Moraes (24′), Yusuf Yusuf (25′), Ricky Diaco (73′) plus a fantastic volley by Gianni De Nittis (85′) gave South a comfortable 6-0 win in a season that saw the White Eagles relegated to State League One with a miserly five points from 26 League matches. Springvale have already surpassed that with 9 points from 13 League matches and they will be hoping to have 12 points from 14 matches at the conclusion of Sunday’s match. South will simply be hoping to be back in the top five at the conclusion of the round.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 3:00pm at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday afternoon.