A goal from Nashir Hussainy in the 60th minute and some resolute tough defending was enough for the South Melbourne Under 20s to record a 0-1 victory over Hume City and deliver a third win in a row.
There were good conditions for football at ABD Stadium on Saturday afternoon, providing the opportunity for coach Sasa Kolman and the Under 20s the best opportunity to take three points home to Lakeside. It would be a very tactical game all the way through until the final whistle.
Throughout the first half both teams had multiple opportunities to score, however neither were able to find the net. This trend continued in the second half and it was only broken when a move by Guiseppe Marafioti on the half way line delivered an intercept, allowing the boys in blue to execute their typical quick-transition football. Marafioti off-loaded the ball to Eric Hauser who has been in exceptional form all season. It would be hard to find a goal this season in the Under 20s that Hauser hasn’t been involved in.
Hauser’s left foot through-ball beat four defenders and was met by a flying Nashir Hussainy that was arriving at speed into the area. His crafty touch made it around the rushing Hume City goal keeper before pushing the ball into the open net in the 60th minute.
Hume City searched deep into the match for the equaliser, however strong defence from Yianni Avramidis, Jordan Moncrief, Massimo Pesce and Dean Nicopoulos held them out.
Talking to smfc.com.au after the match, centre back Yianni Avradmidis shared his thoughts on the match, saying “I think it was a tough game. It was one of those hit outs where both teams are equal. It was a hard game and both sides had good chances. Hume were unlucky, we were unlucky a lot of times, in the end we got the goal and we got the win.”
Asked about the strengths on the pitch, Avramidis said “one of the positives was our teamwork. Playing for each other and that comradeship. The defence also did really well today. We held our own under a lot of pressure. Jordi the centre back, Massimo at left back and Dean out on the right, we did a tremendous job. Even the boys in the midfield worked hard. No individuals stood out, it was a whole team effort today.”
The South Melbourne Under 20s squad has been depleted lately and we asked Avramidis his view on having everyone back on deck. “We had a few injuries, a few players missing, now everyone’s back on board. We’re all back at training and we’re moving forward” he said.
The Under 20s are sitting in third place on the ladder, just two points behind leaders Bentleigh Greens and Avondale FC in second. Their next fixture against Pascoe Vale has been postponed, to be rescheduled at a later date.