Friday, 26 July 2013 11:30 AM
By George Kouroumalis
South Melbourne FC has made a remarkable comeback to avoid embarrassment against Preston in the FFV State Knockout Cup on Tuesday Night.
South were without all of its recent signings due to them being cup tied, as well as Alan Kearney, who had to serve a one match suspension after being sent off in the last round of the Cup against Northcote City.
Despite dominating the play, the only meaningful chance of the half came when Preston caught the South napping, with Sanni Dauda scoring a speculative shot from range.
Preston was reduced to ten men three minutes before halftime after Michael Santoro was handed a second yellow card for a quickly taken free kick without the referee having blown his whistle.
Preston doubled it’s advantage early in the second half, when horrendous marking from the corner allowed for Dauda to bury a volley from inside the six yard box.
With South staring down elimination and the home crowd getting quite boisterous, Rhys Meredith latched onto a wonderful cross by Fernando De Moraes to pull a goal back for the home side.
South continued to pile on the pressure and were rewarded in the 81st minute when Meredith and Andy Vlahos combined to cause mayhem in the Preston defence, forcing Igorce Kolevski to turn the ball into his own net.
South were now dominant and moments later a super free kick by Fernando De Moraes found it’s way through everyone, slamming into the back of the net and sending the small but vocal crowd into delirium.
Fernando then topped off a man of the match performance by scoring a second of the night just before full time.
South now face Green Gully in the Semi Final of the State Knockout Cup, with the fixture likely to be on either August 20 or 21.