South Melbourne FC

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Match Preview – South Melbourne FC vs Northcote City

Match Preview – South Melbourne FC vs Northcote City

Friday, 24 August 2012 8:43 AM

By John Kyrou

It is do-or-die as South Melbourne FC travel to John Cain Memorial Park to face Northcote City on Sunday afternoon. South simply must defeat Northcote to stand any chance of making the 2012 Victorian Premier League finals.

South go into the game on the back of a heartbreaking 2-1 loss against League leaders Dandenong Thunder at Lakeside Stadium last Sunday evening. Shaun Kelly had given South an early lead but Dandenong scored two second-half goals, including a wonder goal in the 89th minute by Luke Sherbon, to condemn the Blues to its sixth League defeat at home this season. Northcote surprisingly slipped up last Sunday afternoon, coming from a goal down to draw 1-1 against bottom side Heidelberg United at Olympic Park. Those results meant that Northcote dropped to fifth spot on the VPL ladder and are now five points ahead of South with just three rounds to play. This means that South must defeat Northcote on Sunday and then defeat Bentleigh Greens (home) and Heidelberg United (away), as well as rely on slip-ups by Northcote, Hume City and Richmond in order to qualify for the finals series. Whilst the task is difficult, it is still mathematically possible provided three points are won on Sunday afternoon.

Sunday’s match will be made even harder due to the fact that South has not defeated Northcote in five League meetings since Northcote’s promotion to the VPL in 2010, with Northcote winning three games and with two 3-3 draws being played out. In the corresponding meeting between the two sides at John Cain Memorial Park on Sunday 8 May 2011, Northcote hammered Eddie Krncevic’s severely undermanned South side 5-0. Ironically in that game, 2012 South players Trent Rixon (3’, 65’, 73’), Jason Trifiro (60’) and Glen Trifiro (88’) were the goal scorers. Earlier on this year on Sunday 3 June 2012, an early second half goal by James Kalifatidis was the difference as Northcote triumphed 1-0 at Lakeside Stadium.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 3:00PM at John Cain Memorial Park.

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