Friday, 9 August 2013 11:33 AM
By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)
South Melbourne FC hosts Hume City at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday afternoon in what is simply a must-win game for the home side. With six rounds of the 2013 Victorian Premier League season remaining and with South currently two points behind fifth-placed Green Gully on the League table, three points are crucial on Sunday.
South goes into the match having played out a frustrating 1-1 draw away against second-bottom Richmond last Friday night. Luke Hopper scored his first goal for the Club just after the half-hour but Tom Cahill leveled in the second half to earn the home side a point. Andy Vlahos and Dimi Hatzimouratis departed the Club during the week but Coach Chris Taylor still has plenty of players to choose from. Peter Gavalas and Chris Maynard are fighting for the goalkeeping spot whilst the back four of Brad Norton, Bryan Bran, Shaun Kelly and Tim Mala looks settled, however Jonathon Munez and James Karvelis are more than capable of filling in as well. Iqi Jawadi came off the bench against Richmond and may return to the starting eleven on Sunday although Taylor can always rely on Fernando De Moraes to step into the side as well. If Rixon overcomes his injury he will most likely start against Hume as the centre-forward. Should he not be available, Taylor may opt to play Tyson Holmes in a more attacking role up front alongside Hopper like he did against Richmond .
Hume goes into the match having lost 0-1 at home to Dandenong Thunder last Sunday. Despite this loss, Lou Acevski’s side sit comfortably in fourth place on the League table, four points ahead of fifth-placed Green Gully and six points ahead of seventh-placed South. Hume are level on 28 points with Bentleigh Greens (second place) and Melbourne Knights (third place), meaning that a win on Sunday could see it end the round in second place on the ladder. In contrast, a loss could see Hume’s lead over South reduced to just three points with five games to go in the season. Hume will go into the match confident, having defeated South 3-2 at Broadmeadows Valley Park earlier this season on Sunday 19 May. Hume raced to a 2-0 lead thanks to two goals from Turhan Sumbul (25’) and Atilla Ofli (28’); however a penalty in first-half injury time from Hatzimouratis and then a header from Kelly leveled the scores just before the hour mark before substitute Sean Canham won the game for Hume with nine minutes remaining.
In the corresponding fixture played at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday 5 August 2012, Rhodri Payne’s cross from the left was flicked home by Steve Burton in the opening minute of the second half and then minutes later De Moraes put Vlahos through to score one of the individual goals of the season. Nick Hegarty scored a consolation goal for Hume after 71 minutes as South triumphed 2-1. Taylor will be more than happy with a similar result on Sunday.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 3pm at Lakeside Stadium.