Monday, 21 May 2012 3:29 PM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
The Melbourne Knights claimed bragging rights in the first derby of 2012 with a hard-fought 2-1 victory over South Melbourne FC at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening. Goals from Adam Zilic and Jacob Colosimo were enough to see off a South side whose only goal came from a Bradley Norton header.
South came into the match on the back of a professional 1-0 away victory over Hume City last Friday night, whilst the Knights came into the game having suffered a surprise 2-1 home defeat against cellar dwellers Heidelberg United. However form meant very little in derby matches as the away side proved against a disappointing South that perhaps missed their captain Steven O’Dor (injury) and Fernando De Moraes (on Futsalroo duties).
The first half was a tight affair, with South hitting too many stray passes despite periods of pressure on the Knights, who were happy to sit back and hit on the counter-attack. South’s best early chance fell to Dimi Hatzimouratis who skied a shot over the crossbar after a wonderful through-ball from Glen Trifiro. The last five minutes of the half provided wonderful entertainment, as the Knights opened the scoring before South almost responded twice. Zilic was the quickest to react to a dangerous free kick from Jake Nakic and he flicked the ball past Peter Gavalas for the Knights’ opening goal. Right from the resulting kick-off, South went down to the other end and Trent Rixon forced a brilliant save from Aaron Romein to prevent the home side levelling. Shortly after, a great turn and shot by Glen Trifiro was blocked perfectly by Zilic, who was an absolute rock for the Knights all evening.
As expected, South began the second half with more urgency as the Knights again sat back and tried to hit on the counter attack. South’s persistence finally paid off when a cross to the back post was missed by Romein and Norton was in the right spot to head the ball into the back of the net. South looked to finally be getting on top of its old foe however a combination of poor decision making in front of goal and solid Knights defending kept the scoreline at 1-1. Former South man Yusuf Yusuf came off the substitutes’ bench for the Knights and he made an immediate impact when he made an excellent run down the right before cutting back for Jacob Colosimo to score past Gavalas for what proved to be the winning goal. Substitute Kyle Joryeff came closest to levelling for the home side when he fired a shot narrowly wide of Romein’s goal, however it was not to be South’s night as the away side held on for a magnificent victory.
South has to quickly recover before travelling to George Andrews Reserve next Saturday to play the Premier League leaders Dandenong Thunder, who have won all seven of their matches this season.
South fared much better in the Under-21s match earlier in the day, as the home side defeated the Knights 2-0. South goalkeeper Jason Saldaris made a good save from a Knights penalty kick shortly before full time to keep a clean sheet.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-2 MELBOURNE KNIGHTS (HT: 0-1)
0-1: Adam Zilic (40′)
1-1: Bradley Norton (58′)
1-2: Jacob Colosimo (70′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 3. Rhodri PAYNE, 6. Dimi TSIARAS, 8. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS (25. Kyle JORYEFF 77′), 9. Trent RIXON, 10. Glen TRIFIRO (20. Gianni DE NITTIS 82’), 11. Brad NORTON, 13. Luke BYLES, 17. Matko BUDIMIR (7. Joe KEENAN 66’), 18. Marinos GASPARIS, 23. Jason TRIFIRO
1. Aaron ROMEIN (GK), 2. Hrvoje SIBENIK, 4. Adam ZILIC, 6. Tom USKOK, 9. Jacob COLOSIMO (18. Craig SWEENEY 84′), 10. Josip KOZIC, 11. Anthony COLOSIMO, 12. Shayan ALINEJAD (19. Yusuf YUSUF 56′), 15. Louis FENTON, 17. Joseph FRANJIC, 23. Jake NAKIC
SMFC Man of the Match: Rhodri Payne
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 20 May 2012