Sunday, 14 April 2013 6:30 PM
By John Kyrou (Photos by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC continued its 100% winning start to season 2013 with another convincing 0-3 victory, this time against the Southern Stars at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex on Saturday evening. A double from Marinos Gasparis and a late goal from Shaun Kelly completed a very comfortable victory for the away side.
Southern Stars came into the game on the back of an extremely positive 0-0 draw against defending Victorian Premier League Champions Dandenong Thunder last weekend. The result was Zaya Younan’s first point as a coach at Premier League level and one that gave his side confidence ahead of the South match. The away side came into the game on the back of a commanding 0-3 victory against Green Gully last Saturday, its first win at Green Gully Reserve since returning to the Premier League in 2005.
South Melbourne began the game with great intensity and forced a corner kick in the opening 25 seconds of the match. It was a sign of things to come as the away side took control of possession and created several chances in what was a brilliant first half performance. After half an hour of sustained pressure, South finally opened the scoring when Gasparis’ long-range shot took a deflection as the ball wrong-footed Abdulkerim Koc and flew into the back of the net. Gasparis should have scored his second just before the break when the ball fell to him near the penalty spot, however he shot wide of the left post.
Gasparis got the second goal he richly deserved only two minutes after the halftime break, when his low free kick from outside the area beat Koc, when perhaps the goalkeeper could have done a bit better. However, there was nothing that the young goalkeeper could do for South’s third goal of the night, when Renco Van Eeken’s cross from the right found an unmarked Kelly at the back post. The centre-half hit the ball into the ground and across the goal into the far corner of the net to wrap up the three points for South Melbourne. Amazingly it was Kelly’s fifth goal for South in nine appearances for the Club, a remarkable statistic for a centre-half.
Coach Peter Tsolakis was delighted with the result, stating that “I thought we totally dominated, the most pleasing thing for me is keeping another clean sheet. We said in pre-season that if we can keep clean sheets, we’ve got enough attacking players to score goals.”
The Under-21s also enjoyed an excellent victory over the Stars, with Sebit Muon’s header (60′), Luis Bulboa’s rocket from long range (71′) and Baggio Yousif’s well-placed strike (90+1′) wrapping up a 3-0 victory.
South is back at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex this Friday night, this time taking on the Bentleigh Greens. Kick-off is at 8:15PM.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTHERN STARS 0-3 SOUTH MELBOURNE (HT: 0-1)
0-1: Marinos Gasparis (31′)
0-2: Marinos Gasparis (47′)
0-3: Shaun Kelly (82′)
Key Stats (provided by Steven Orchard):
Total shots: Southern Stars (2) – South Melbourne (25)
Shots on target: Southern Stars (0) – South Melbourne (14)
Corners: Southern Stars (0) – South Melbourne (10)
Saves made: Southern Stars (11) – South Melbourne (0)
1. Abdulkerim KOC (GK), 6. Andrew VIOLA, 7. Devon BONNE, 8. Kalonzo KABONGO, 11. Joshua WOOD, 12. James WALKER, 13. Halil GUR, 14. Joshua BOWEN, 16. Ali TURGUT, 18. Rama TAVSANCIOGLU, Ilya GRIN
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 7. Joe KEENAN, 10. Tyson HOLMES (6. Dimi TSIARAS 88′), 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Rhys MEREDITH (14. Andy VLAHOS 75′), 13. Luke BYLES (C), 15. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS, 16. Alan KEARNEY, 18. Marinos GASPARIS (20. Andrew CARTANOS 78′), 19. Shaun KELLY, 23. Renco VAN EEKEN
SMFC Man of the Match: Marinos Gasparis
Venue: Kingston Heath Soccer Complex
Date: Saturday 13 April 2013