Sunday, 17 July 2011 8:07 PM
South Melbourne FC crept closer to securing a finals spot in the 2011 Victorian Premier League following an emphatic 3-1 victory against League leaders Hume City on Sunday afternoon at John Cain Memorial Park.
South went into the match knowing that it simply had to win against high-flying Hume in order to keep ahead of the chasing pack in Bentleigh, Heidelberg, Green Gully, Northcote City and Dandenong. With all teams within only a few points of each other, a slip-up by any team could have meant starting the round in the top five but ending it as low as seventh.
The home side started the match with a real point to prove and deservedly opened the scoring when Daniel Dragicevic snuck in at the back post unmarked to fire Rhodri Payne’s cross across Hume goalkeeper Lupce Acevski and into the goal for his first goal for South.
The game was blown open ten minutes later in a minute of madness that saw a goal and a red card. Daniel Vasilevski expertly hit his corner to the penalty spot where Sebastian Petrovic met the ball and fired a header past Acevski. The goalkeeper then booted the ball away before receiving a straight red card from the referee for apparent verbal dissent. Hume was lucky not to have another man sent off when Steven Pace elbowed Dragicevic in the face and only received a caution.
South made sure of the three points early in the second half when Steven Weir’s free kick deflected off Hume’s wall before landing for Jesse Krncevic to shoot past substitute goalkeeper Kenny Gerochristodoulou. With a three goal advantage and a one man advantage, South created so many more chances to increase their lead but could not add to their tally despite going close numerous times. In the closing stages of the match, Hume pulled back a consolation goal through substitute Richie Cardozo, who got in between Carl Recchia and Trent Waterson and headed past Zaim Zeneli to give the visiting team something to cheer about.
After the game Jesse Krncevic commented that “it was great to be back playing (following his five match suspension against Heidelberg). I linked up well with Steven Weir up front and hopefully we can continue this partnership against Dandenong and Northcote in the last two games.”
In further great news, the Under 21s defeated Hume 1-0 through a goal by Robert Naumovski to overtake Hume in top spot on the Under 21 League table with two games to go. Coach Gus Caminos commented that “we’ve done the hard work to get to top spot but now we need to hold onto it with two games to go.”
Both sides have a break in League action next week for the VPL catch-up round and resume their League seasons the following week. South travels to Dandenong on Saturday 30 July to play Dandenong Thunder and on the same afternoon Hume hosts Oakleigh Cannons at Broadmeadows Valley Park. Both matches kick off at 15:00.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 3-1 HUME CITY (HT: 2-0)
1-0: Daniel Dragicevic (13’)
2-0: Sebastian Petrovic (26’)
3-0: Jesse Krncevic (51’)
3-1: Richie Cardozo (81’)
South Melbourne FC:
3. Rhodri PAYNE, 5. Daniel VASILEVSKI, 6. Steven TOPALOVIC, 8. Carl RECCHIA, 11. Jesse KRNCEVIC, 15. Fernando DE MORAES, 16. Trent WATERSON, 17. Steven WEIR, 20. Daniel DRAGICEVIC (25. Kyle JORYEFF 74′), 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 23. Sebastian PETROVIC
1. Lupce ACEVSKI (GK) (sent off), 5. Steven PACE, 6. Serdar PIR, 7. Isiyan ERDOGAN, 9. Pece SIVESKI, 10. Richie CARDOZO, 11. Andy VLAHOS, 15. Zoran PETREVSKI, 20. Michael BOSEVSKI (25. Atilla OFLI 64′), 21. Dusko DELIC (18. Kenny GEROCHRISTODOULOU 26′), 22. Phil RICCOBENE
SMFC Man of the Match: Jesse Krncevic
Venue: John Cain Memorial Park
Date: Sunday 17 July 2011