South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Lujic strike gives South tenth straight win

Lujic strike gives South tenth straight win

By John Kyrou (Photo by Cindy Nitsos)

South Melbourne FC continued its record-breaking start to 2014 with a hard-fought 0-1 victory against Werribee City at Galvin Park on Sunday afternoon. Milos Lujic’s injury-time goal in the first half was the difference as Chris Taylor’s side made it ten straight wins from ten National Premier League matches this season.

Taylor made one change from the side that defeated Pascoe Vale 1-0 last Sunday, as Leigh Minopoulos started in place of Nick Epifano. It was Minopoulos’ first start in the League this season and ironically it was against his former club in Werribee, who he helped to gain promotion last season. Andrew Mullett kept his starting spot in the South side following his solid performance against Pascoe Vale, with Captain Michael Eagar joining Epifano on the substitutes’ bench. Brad Norton was for the second week in a row the acting Captain in Eagar’s absence on the field.

The match was a tough and scrappy affair as both sides struggled to create many chances on goal. Werribee almost opened the scoring but the South defence cleared the ball off the line and away from danger. At the other end of the field, South’s forwards were finding chances difficult to come by as the Werribee defence stubbornly kept them at bay. Ryan Filipovic appeared to be the last defender when he brought Lujic down but the centre-back escaped with only a yellow card issued by the referee for his foul. The breakthrough goal arrived just before the halftime break, when Iqi Jawadi’s through-ball for Lujic saw the centre-forward beat the offside trap before slotting the ball under Bees goalkeeper Tom Dunn and into the back of the net.

South defended their lead relatively comfortably in the second half but could not score a second goal to seal the three points. The closest it got was when Lujic beat the defence for pace but had his one-on-one shot blocked well by Dunn. Later in the half, the Bees goalkeeper was nearly embarrassed when he scuffed his clearance while he was off his goal line, however Tyson Holmes’ shot from distance drifted wide of the goal. The match was a real grind but South held its nerve through the five minutes of injury time to seal another important win. South now lead second-placed Oakleigh by nine points on the NPL ladder, with the two sides due to meet each other in the League on Friday 6 June.

Post-match, Taylor reflected on how it was so important for his side to continue to grind out wins, especially with such a busy schedule over the coming weeks. When asked what he wanted over the next couple of weeks in both League and Cup, the answer was simply and bluntly “just to keep winning”.

South’s new NPL 20s coach Sasa Kolman enjoyed a win during his first game in charge, with his side defeating Werribee City 1-4. Josh Markovski scored all four goals for South in what was an excellent individual and team performance.

South Melbourne FC and Dandenong Thunder meet each other twice this coming week in separate competitions. The first meeting between the two sides is in the Sixth Round of the Dockerty Cup on Wednesday night (28 May) at George Andrews Reserve, followed by a League meeting at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday evening (1 June).


Goal Scorer:
0-1: Milos Lujic (45+1′)

Key Stats (Provided by Steven Orchard):
Shots: WCFC (4) – SMFC (9)
Free kicks: WCFC (15) – SMFC (18)
Turnovers: WCFC (73) – SMFC (68)
Balls into final third: WCFC (14) – SMFC (26)

Werribee City:
1. Tommy DUNN (GK), 4. Ryan FILIPOVIC, 6. Anthony RAGUSA, 7. Simon ZAPPIA, 13. Milan SAVIC, 14. Bobby VIDANOSKI, 19. Rob NAUMOSKI (11. Domenico MARAFIATI 76′), 20. Daniel PETROV, 26. Ray MARKLEY (8. Daniel SWEENEY 57′), 33. Josh GROENEWALD (17. Matthew CUNDARI 20′), 43. Steve CUDRIG.

South Melbourne FC:
1. Jason SALDARIS (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 3. Andrew MULLETT, 8. Mathew THEODORE (6. Dimi TSIARAS 89′), 9. Milos LUJIC, 10. Tyson HOLMES, 11. Brad NORTON (C), 12. Iqi JAWADI (20. Slaven VRANESEVIC 90+3′), 14. James MUSA, 17. Jamie REED, 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS (7. Nick EPIFANO 80′).

SMFC Man of the Match: Iqi Jawadi
Venue: Galvin Park
Date: Sunday 25 May 2014

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