Monday, 27 May 2013 11:21 AM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC defeated the Oakleigh Cannons 2-1 at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening to continue its 100% winning record at home in 2013. A first half double from Dimi Hatzimouratis was enough for a dominant South side to win the three points, despite a late scare when Oakleigh substitute Alex Smith scored a consolation goal in injury time.
South came into the match on the back of a disappointing 3-2 away loss against Hume City the previous Sunday, with some slack defending costing the Blues dearly. Oakleigh arrived at Lakeside Stadium in losing form as well, with Miron Bleiberg’s side having lost against Dandenong Thunder 0-1 at home the previous Friday. Right-back Tom Matthews started for the first time in 2013 for South as Renco Van Eeken missed the match due to soreness. With Matthews at right-back, Hatzimouratis was pushed further up the field, in a telling pre-game move by coach Peter Tsolakis.
Both sides started the match slowly, however, South eventually began to take control of proceedings as centre-forward Trent Rixon won everything in the air up front and Tyson Holmes ran amock. Oakleigh goalkeeper Lewis Italiano was kept busy trying to keep a clean sheet as South came close to scoring on numerous occassions. Hatzimouratis eventually opened the scoring after 24 minutes when he let fly with a vicious shot from 30 yards that had Italiano rooted to the spot.
The home side continued putting enormous pressure on the Oakleigh defence and eventually got a second goal when some good lead-up play from the left side saw Marinos Gasparis’ low centering ball in the six yard box flicked home by Hatzimouratis for his second of the night and third goal in two games. Oakleigh’s best chance of the half came when Hayden Doyle was put through on goal but Peter Gavalas made an excellent one-on-one save to deny the Cannons.
South had many chances to triple their lead in the second half but could not convert any of their opportunities. Hatzimouratis missed a golden opportunity to score a hat-trick when he found himself unmarked in the six yard box but headed Matthews’ cross over Italiano’s crossbar. The home side should have been at least three goals ahead but instead were left fearing the worst when Smith fired home in the second minute of injury time, however despite five minutes of injury time being played, South held on and recorded a well deserved victory. The result moves South to 15 points and back into third spot on the Victorian Premier League table. Oakleigh remain in tenth position with just five points.
South next travels to Hosken Reserve to play promoted side Pascoe Vale. Kick-off is next Saturday evening (1 June) at 7PM.
In the Under 21s match, an Anthony Giannopoulos penalty after 88 minutes gave South a 1-1 draw against Oakleigh.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 2-1 OAKLEIGH CANNONS (HT: 2-0)
1-0: Dimi Hatzimouratis (24′)
2-0: Dimi Hatzimouratis (35′)
2-1: Alex Smith (90+2′)
Key Stats (provided by Steven Orchard):
Total shots: South Melbourne (19) – Oakleigh (9)
Shots on target: South Melbourne (8) – Oakleigh (5)
Corners: South Melbourne (4) – Oakleigh (5)
Saves made: South Melbourne (4) – Oakleigh (6)
Balls into the area: South Melbourne (42) – Oakleigh (21)
Shots blocked: South Melbourne (6) – Oakleigh (1)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Peter GAVALAS (GK), 2. Tom MATTHEWS, 7. Joe KEENAN, 9. Trent RIXON, 10. Tyson HOLMES, 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Rhys MEREDITH, 13. Luke BYLES (C), 15. Dimi HATZIMOURATIS, 18. Marinos GASPARIS (5. Phil PETRESKI 74′), 19. Shaun KELLY
1. Lewis ITALIANO (GK), 2. James CUMMING, 3. Michail BOXALL, 5. Casper ANDERSEN, 10. Ricky DIACO (Alex SMITH 38′), 11. Jesse KRNCEVIC, 17. Reece VITTIGLIA, 18. Steven GRAY, 19. Goran ZORIC (16. Frankie LAGANA 86′), 20. Ari DRAKOS (8. Dusan BOSNJAK 74′), 21. Hayden DOYLE
SMFC Man of the Match: Dimi Hatzimouratis
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 26 May 2013