Friday, 20 September 2013 12:57 PM
By John Kyrou
In an amazing week leading into the last round of the 2013 Victorian Premier League season, South Melbourne FC has regained control of its finals destiny and will qualify for the finals series should it defeat Port Melbourne Sharks at SS Anderson Reserve on Sunday afternoon. After believing that it had surrended control of its finals aspirations, a turn of events during the week has now given South a wonderful opportunity to play finals football for the first time since 2011.
South’s heartbreaking 1-1 draw against Northcote City at Lakeside Stadium last Saturday initially meant that its finals destiny was out of its control. Two wins for Green Gully in its final two matches against Oakleigh (which Gully won 2-0 on Wednesday night) and then against Dandenong Thunder on Sunday would have normally ensured Green Gully finals football irrespective of South’s result at Port Melbourne. However, due to the Southern Stars alleged match fixing controversy, Football Federation Victoria declared all Southern Stars matches played in 2013 as a ‘no result’ in the interests of fairness for all other VPL clubs. Whilst both Port Melbourne and Green Gully gained six points against Southern Stars, South only gained four points, meaning that with the revised League ladder South is now only two points behind fourth-placed Port Melbourne and is now level on points with Green Gully and one goal better in goal difference. In short, this means that a victory against Port Melbourne on Sunday WILL qualify South for finals football and may even be enough for it to finish fourth and host the Elimination Final.
South coach Chris Taylor was extremely disappointed with the result last Saturday but the revised ladder will no doubt give him and his side added confidence heading into what essentially will be an ‘elimination final before the elimination final’ should Green Gully gain maximum points against Dandenong. A Gully win will qualify them for the finals series and will mean that South must beat Port Melbourne in order to also make the finals. With all VPL games being played at the same time, there will be some nervous moments throughout the course of the 90 minutes and when the final whistle sounds one of Port Melbourne, South and Green Gully will have just missed out on finals football in 2013. Three points for South will ensure that it will continue playing on for at least another week.
Sunday’s match kicks off at 3PM at SS Anderson Reserve. All South supporters are strongly encouraged to attend and help get their side into the finals in 2013.
POTENTIAL LADDER SCENARIOS:
Current VPL ladder:
South will finish fourth if:
* It defeats Port Melbourne
* Green Gully does not defeat Dandenong Thunder by at least two goals more than South does over Port Melbourne
South will finish fifth if:
* Both South and Gully win but Gully wins by at least two goals more than South does over Port Melbourne, or
* It draws with Port Melbourne and Green Gully fails to beat Dandenong, or
* It loses to Port Melbourne and Green Gully loses to Dandenong
South will miss the finals if:
* It does not defeat Port Melbourne and Green Gully defeats Dandenong, or
* It loses against Port Melbourne and Green Gully draws against Dandenong