Monday, 26 March 2012 1:59 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC opened its 2012 Victorian Premier League season with a comfortable 4-0 victory over newly-promoted Moreland Zebras on Sunday afternoon at Lakeside Stadium. The result was even more memorable as it was South’s first official match at Lakeside in nearly two years following the ground’s $60 million upgrade. A double from Kyle Joryeff in the first half and late goals to Jason Trifiro and substitute Dimitri Hatzimouratis did the job for the home side.
The match began as a scrappy affair as both sides took their time to settle. South coach Peter Tsolakis named a starting eleven that had seven players making their League debut for the Club. Moreland (formerly Whittlesea Zebras) were mindful of the fact that their last visit to Lakeside Stadium (Sunday 28th June 2009) saw it lose 4-0 against a South side that had Goran Zoric, Vaughan Coveny and Fernando De Moraes to thank for the goals. Despite the best efforts of former South player Carl Recchia at centre-back, Moreland were simply overpowered by South’s strong midfield and forward presence. South opened the scoring midway through the first half when Glen Trifiro pounced on a stray pass from the Zebras defence and fed Joryeff with a great ball that put him through on goal and he beat Zebras keeper Griffin McMaster at his near post. The Englishman then doubled the home side’s lead shortly after by smashing home the loose ball following a good save by McMaster from an initial shot.
South took the pedal off for a large period of the second half, allowing the Zebras more time on the ball that culminated in the away side creating a handful of half-chances for themselves. Despite some minor scares, South goalkeeper Peter Gavalas was hardly tested and had a relatively quiet afternoon. With the Zebras committing more numbers forward as the game went on, South had opportunities to capitalise on the counter-attack but were frustrated in not being able to do so for long periods of the half. That was until the 83rd minute, when Jason Trifiro got on the end of a low cross from the right to beat McMaster at his near post. Substitute Hatzimouratis had only been on the field for 15 minutes but he put the icing on the cake for South with a nice strike following another cross from the right.
In the Under 21s, Moreland were too strong with a solid 3-1 victory against South.
South’s next game is on Friday night away against the Oakleigh Cannons at Jack Edwards Reserve. Kick-off is at 8:30pm.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 4-0 MORELAND ZEBRAS (HT: 2-0)
1-0: Kyle Joryeff (25′)
2-0: Kyle Joryeff (33′)
3-0: Jason Trifiro (83′)
4-0: Dimitri Hatzimouratis (88′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 2. Tom MATTHEWS, 4. Steven O’DOR, 6. Dimi TSIARAS, 9. Trent RIXON (8. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS 73′), 10. Glen TRIFIRO, 11. Brad NORTON, 13. Luke BYLES, 15. Fernando DE MORAES, 23. Jason TRIFIRO, 25. Kyle JORYEFF (20. Gianni DE NITTIS 53′)
1. Griffin MCMASTER (GK), 2. Chris GROSSMAN, 3. Raymond LALLY (Brandon DAFINA 81’), 4. William ABBOTT, 7. Stuart NICHOLSON, 8. Carl RECCHA, 9. Vincent FAHERTY, 11. Steven WEIR, 14. Jungho KIM (Danny RADOJICIC 59’), 15. Ersin KAYA, 19. Nace KOSMAC.
SMFC Man of the Match: Dimi Tsiaras
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 25 March 2012