Friday, 27 September 2013 9:14 AM
By Brandon Galgano
On a fine Sunday afternoon for football, South Melbourne’s U18 side was been crowned Victorian state champions following an emphatic 2-1 victory over the Caulfield Cobras.
Under the guidance of former back to back Under 21’s championship winning coach Gus Caminos, South Melbourne went into the match full of confidence following an enthralling penalty shootout victory over Diamond Valley in the Semi Final last weekend.
It wasn’t all smooth sailing early though as Caulfield took the lead after twenty minutes with a superb cut back and finish proving too much for South keeper Jordan Gifkins. South Melbourne rallied late though and equalised right on half time with a superb header from Michael Sdregas making it 1-1. And following a tense second half in which neither side could get a winner the match went into extra time.
In true South fashion though, the boys stepped up a gear and came close to taking the lead ten minutes into extra time with a long range strike hitting both posts before bouncing out. They were not to be denied for long though as Josh Pulvirenti, scorer of the winning penalty a week before against Diamond Valley, slotted home into the bottom corner late in the first half of extra time to make it 2-1 South Melbourne.
And just as it looked like South had the title in the bag a late opportunity opened up for Caulfield but a superb one on one save from Gifkins ensured that South wouldn’t be denied with the final whistle sounding just a few minutes later crowning South Melbourne 2013 Victorian U18 champions.
Coach Gus Caminos was understandably delighted come the final whistle with the former Dandenong Thunder senior assistant having guided the side to victories in the Hellenic Cup, the League and now the State Finals in 2013 alone. Caminos lauded his side following the victory, stating that that this is a team of ‘’talented individuals who have represented South Melbourne FC with pride and honour throughout the whole season’’.
Congratulations to the SMFC U18 squad and their coach Gus Caminos for a sensational 2013 season.