Tuesday, 12 June 2012 9:45 AM
By John Kyrou
It was deja vu once more as State League One side Port Melbourne defeated South Melbourne FC 2-1 in the Fifth Round of the FFV State Knockout Cup on Friday night at Lakeside Stadium. The loss eliminated South from the 2012 Cup competition, exactly one year after Port knocked them out of the same stage of the competition in 2011. The loss was South’s fourth home defeat in a row in 2012, with the side now losing four of its five home matches this year.
South began the game intent on getting on the scoreboard early after failing to score at home against Northcote City in the League the previous weekend. Gianni De Nittis and Fernando De Moraes, who had both returned to the starting eleven, had spectacular long range shots parried out for corners by Port goalkeeper Adam Hrehoresin. In fact the Port custodian was kept very busy in the first half as he also blocked a shot from young Philip Petreski, who was given his senior debut by South coach Peter Tsolakis following strong performances in the Under-21s. However Hrehoresin was powerless to stop South from opening the scoring shortly before the halftime break when his punch from Glen Trifiro’s cross bounced off his defender Felix Rosman and rolled into the back of the net.
South started the second half strongly and should have wrapped the game up when Bradley Norton’s wonderful cross from the left was blasted over the bar by De Nittis. Glen Trifiro then fed De Nittis through on the right and he cut the ball back to Fernando but the Futsalroo blasted his shot against the crossbar with the whole goal gaping. De Nittis got involved again, flicking the ball to set up Petreski on the left but the youngster’s final ball was a mixture of a cross and a shot as the ball evaded three South players waiting at the back post. The chances were being wasted like in previous home matches and it only seemed a matter of time before the away side punished South.
Port had only one notable chance in the first half, when a great ball from the right was headed over Peter Gavalas’ crossbar by Alex Khrapko. Despite being bombarded by South in the second half, Port had managed to keep the scoreline to only 1-0 and therefore gave themselves a chance of salvaging a result. They levelled on the hour when Shane Gill was fouled by Gavalas in the area, resulting in a spot kick. Gavalas initially appeared to win the ball but on SMFC TV’s replay it seemed like the decision was the right one. Nick Kalambokis took the spot kick and buried past Gavalas’ left, however he was ordered to re-take the penalty due to players running in the area before the kick was taken. Kalambokis stepped up again and buried the ball in the same spot. Port then won the game in the final minute of regular time when Kalambokis’ corner was met at the back post by substitute Melvin Beckett, who put the ball over the line despite Gavalas’ scramble to keep the ball behind the goal line. Exactly one year on, Port had achieved another come-from-behind 2-1 victory and knocked out its Premier League opponents.
South needs to find form and quickly as it resumes League action next Friday night away against the Bentleigh Greens at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. Kick-off is at 8:15PM.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-2 PORT MELBOURNE (HT: 1-0)
1-0: Felix Rosman OG (42′)
1-1: Nick Kalambokis PK (60′)
1-2: Melvin Beckett (90′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 2. Tom MATTHEWS, 4. Steven O’DOR, 6. Dimi TSIARAS, 10. Glen TRIFIRO (25. Kyle JORYEFF 86’), 11. Bradley NORTON, 12. Philip PETRESKI, 15. Fernando DE MORAES (8. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS 86’), 18. Marinos GASPARIS, 20. Gianni DE NITTIS, 23. Jason TRIFIRO
SMFC Man of the Match: Philip Petreski
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 8 June 2012