Monday, 2 July 2012 10:23 AM
By John Kyrou
South Melbourne FC twice fought back from a one goal deficit to draw 2-2 against the Moreland Zebras at Epping Stadium on Sunday afternoon. Goals from captain Steven O’Dor and Jason Trifiro cancelled out Moreland’s goals from former South man Kliment Taseski and Ersin Kaya, in what was a highly entertaining game.
South went into the game on the back of a 2-1 victory against Heidelberg United last weekend and was determined to continue the positive form against a Zebras side who had won its past two Victorian Premier League matches. Both sides enjoyed an even start to the game, with South perhaps the slightly more adventurous, but it was the home side that struck on the scoreboard first. Former South player Danny Radojicic broke the offside trap before cutting the ball back for Taseski to smash past Peter Gavalas for the opening goal of the match. The rest of the half was all South as the away side dominated possession before finally getting the goal it was after just before the halftime break. Jason Trifiro’s inswinging corner found O’Dor who headed past Griffin McMaster and into the back of the net to send the sides into the break on level terms.
South completely controlled the second half but once more could not convert their on-field dominance onto the scoreboard. The away side paid the price when Moreland re-took the lead in the 64th minute when Chris Grossman cut the ball back for Kaya to slide in and put the ball past Gavalas. South continued to miss chances to level, firstly when Marinos Gasparis, playing his 50th League game for the Club, curled a shot against the right post and then when Trent Rixon got on the end of a wonderful forward move but had his final shot blocked magnificently by the Zebras defence. With time running out, South coach Peter Tsolakis introduced Fernando De Moraes and Kyle Joryeff to the game and both substitutes had immediate impact with a sense of urgency in moving the ball forward. South finally got the equaliser it had deserved only minutes from the end when Joryeff’s quick shot could only be parried by McMaster into the path of Jason Trifiro, who had the easy job of slotting the ball into the back of the empty net.
The six minutes of injury-time was absolute madness as an inspired South side surged forward in big numbers in search of the winning goal. Rixon sprung the offside trap and rounded McMaster but was denied what would have been a wild winner by Will Abbot, who did very well to get in the way and clear the danger. Rixon then got on the end of a great cross by Gasparis and headed the ball against the crossbar with McMaster beaten. McMaster then made amends for his earlier error by making a fantastic save from a long-range Rixon rocket, flicking the goal-bound ball out for a corner kick, then following that up by making another terrific save from a Joryeff shot. The away side could have easily scored four goals in injury-time and Rixon alone could have had a hat-trick but for the wonderful defending by the Zebras. In the end both sides had to settle for a point each, though South would consider this result as two points dropped as opposed to one point earned.
It was a different story in the Under-21s match, with Moreland triumphing 2-1 against South.
With the transfer window opening today (Monday 2 July), Tsolakis said post-game that there would be more attacking options arriving at Lakeside to support Rixon, especially with Dimi Hatzimouratis out injured. Those new signings will be announced in due course.
South’s next three games are all at home, with the first being next Sunday against the Oakleigh Cannons at 5:00PM.
FINAL SCORE: MORELAND ZEBRAS 2-2 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 1-1)
1-0: Kliment Taseski (18′)
1-1: Steven O’Dor (45+1′)
2-1: Ersin Kaya (64′)
2-2: Jason Trifiro (88′)
Griffin MCMASTER (GK), Chris GROSSMAN, Ray LALLY, William ABBOTT, Danny RADOJICIC (Nace KOSMAC 63’), Kole DELEV, Carl RECCHIA, Vincent FAHERTY, Daniel VASILVEVSKI, Ersin KAYA (Jacob IHNATISIN 90’), Kliment TASESKI (Nick SYMEOY 75’)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 2. Tom MATTHEW, 4. Steve O’DOR, 6. Dimi TSIARAS (25. Kyle JORYEFF 78’), 5. Philip PETRESKI, 9. Trent RIXON, 10. Glen TRIFIRO (15. Fernando DE MORAES 75’), 11. Brad NORTON, 13. Luke BYLES, 15. Marinos GASPARIS, 23. Jason TRIFIRO
SMFC Man of the Match: Bradley Norton
Venue: Epping Stadium
Date: Sunday 1 July 2012