Monday, 15 August 2011 10:42 AM
South Melbourne FC has advanced through to a Minor Semi Final date with Oakleigh after defeating Heidelberg United 1-0 in the Elimination Final at SS Anderson Reserve on Sunday afternoon. A Jesse Krncevic penalty shortly after the hour mark was the difference in what was a tight derby match that ended dramatically with Sebastian Petrovic being sent off before Zaim Zeneli made a double save from a Heidelberg penalty late in the match.
South had the first chance of the match fifteen minutes in when Steven Weir found the side netting from a difficult angle following a ball from Tom Matthews. A minute later, former South player Hamlet Armenian was lucky not to be sent off after a late challenge on Zeneli as the goalkeeper gathered possession of the ball. Steve Martin then produced the Bergers’ first chance of the afternoon when he let fly with a stinging shot that flew just wide of Zeneli’s goal. There was a bit of drama just before the halftime break, when defender Steven Topalovic went off with a suspected broken leg and then Heidelberg had an appeal for a penalty turned down after Yared Hailemelekot went down in the area.
The game lifted in the second half and it was the Bergers who almost went ahead when Evan Christodoulou’s header hit the crossbar. Five minutes later, Heidelberg almost conceded an own goal when Les Doumbalis flicked Daniel Vasilevski’s cross past goalkeeper Rhyss Keane and onto the back post. South was creeping closer and eventually went one better ten minutes later when Weir was pulled down in the box, with Heidelberg’s defenders claiming the South forward was fouled just outside the area. However the referee had already pointed to the penalty spot, where Jesse Krncevic stepped up and sent Keane the wrong way to open the scoring for the home side.
South pressed forward for a second goal to kill the game off, but a combination of poor decision making and desperate defending kept the scoreline at 1-0. Time was running out for the Bergers, who again went close when Saso Alexovski fired a left-footed strike over Zeneli’s bar. With five minutes left, Sebastian Petrovic was given his marching orders by the referee after a strong tackle on Hailemelekot, resulting in his second yellow card of the afternoon. The resultant free kick was played into the box where the referee awarded a penalty to the Bergers for a foul on Osagie Ederaro, which was surprisingly taken by Armenian instead of Ederaro or Alexovski. Zeneli made up for his error by making a double save from Armenian’s spot kick to deny the Bergers and keep South’s 1-0 lead intact until the final whistle.
Heidelberg are now out of the finals series, while South lives to fight another day as they now face the Oakleigh Cannons in the Minor Semi Final at Jack Edwards Reserve next Sunday 21 August at 18:00.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-0 HEIDELBERG UNITED (HT: 0-0)
1-0: Jesse Krncevic (66′ pk)
South Melbourne FC:
2. Tom MATTHEWS, 3. Rhodri PAYNE, 4. Steven O’DOR, 5. Daniel VASILEVSKI, 6. Steven TOPALOVIC (16. Trent WATERSON 44′), 8. Carl RECCHIA, 11. Jesse KRNCEVIC, 17. Steven WEIR (25. Kyle JORYEFF 90+1′), 20. Daniel DRAGICEVIC (33. Yanni GALANOS 74′), 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK), 23. Sebastian PETROVIC (sent off 84′)
1. Rhyss KEANE (GK), 2. Yarod HAILEMELKOT, 3. Les DOUMBALIS, 7. Hamlet ARMENIAN, 9. Shaun MCILROY (8. Andrew NABBOUT 72′), 11. Evan CHRISTODOLOU, 13. Luke BYLES, 14. Craig ELVIN, 16. Steve MARTIN, 18. Osagie EDERADO, 20. Saso ALEKSOVSKI
SMFC Man of the Match: Steven Weir
Venue: SS Anderson Reserve
Date: Sunday 14 August 2011