South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South reach top spot after superb win

South reach top spot after superb win

South Melbourne FC has reclaimed top spot on the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder following a 5-2 victory over Hume City at Lakeside Stadium on Wednesday night.

Nick Epifano’s brace and goals to Milos Lujic, Iqi Jawadi and Captain Michael Eagar (yes, Michael Eagar) helped South get over the line with a crucial victory in the context of the season.

After 25 League matches, Taylor’s men are level with the Greens at the top of the ladder with 55 points each, however South enjoys a goal difference of +33 compared to Bentleigh’s +23. Barring a mathematical anomaly in Bentleigh’s match against Oakleigh, South knows that a home victory against Northcote City on Sunday will secure the Minor Premiership.

Wednesday night’s victory came against a strong Hume City side that had pushed South all the way in the corresponding fixture at ABD Stadium in May this year. Hume started Wednesday’s game strongly, however Epifano opened the scoring for the home side just prior to the half-hour following a superb exchange with Lujic. The speedster gracefully turned and played a one-two with Lujic before finishing neatly past Hume goalkeeper Chris Oldfield.

Shortly before the halftime break, South doubled their lead through perhaps the unlikeliest of sources. Skipper Michael Eagar scored his first competitive goal for the club – with a back heel if you don’t mind – after a scramble in the goalmouth. He was relieved to finally get his goal after earlier missing an excellent opportunity to double South’s lead.

Shortly after the halftime break, Jai Ingham pulled a goal back for the visitors when Nick Hegarty pulled the ball back from the touchline for him to finish past Nikola Roganovic. Hume looked the more likely to score the next goal in the match until Lujic restored South’s two goal buffer in typical fashion on the hour mark. Leigh Minopoulos played a great ball across the goal for Lujic’s back-post run and the big striker made no mistake from close range to register his 27th goal in all competitions this year.

The game was as good as over a few minutes later when Epifano scored one of the goals of the season to make the score 4-1. The winger shimmied away twice from Hume defenders before cutting back inside and nestling the ball into the top right hand corner of the net. It was a goal very similar to the fantastic finish he produced against the Melbourne Knights in the FFA Cup qualifying match in early June.

Jawadi completed South’s scoring for the night with his second goal in as many weeks, before Hume’s Marcus Schroen hit a superb finish with the last kick of the game to make the final score 5-2.

Post-match, Eagar was delighted to be at the summit of the NPL Victoria once again but stressed that there was still work to be done. “We’ve worked really hard to get into this position. We’re finally top of the League again and it’s a great feeling, however we know that the job’s not done yet. We’ll train on Friday in preparation for Sunday’s match.”

Elaborating about the upcoming match on Sunday, the skipper added that “we’ve played in plenty of big games this year already. There’s pressure to an extent but we’ll just play our game against Northcote and go into it with plenty of confidence.” And about that goal that he scored? “Millsy (Lujic) has been talking about swapping with me at centre-back all year, so it might be a go next week. It was pretty fortunate but I’ll take it… get the monkey off the back.”

In the Under 20s, South Melbourne and Hume City played out a 0-0 draw.


Goal Scorers:
1-0: Nick Epifano (27’)
2-0: Michael Eagar (44’)
2-1: Jai Ingham (54′)
3-1: Milos Lujic (60′)
4-1: Nick Epifano (64′)
5-1: Iqi Jawadi (76′)
5-2: Marcus Schroen (90+2′)

South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK), 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 7. Nick EPIFANO, 8. Mathew THEODORE (21. Jake BARKER-DAISH 80′), 9. Milos LUJIC, 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqi JAWADI (10. David STIRTON 81′), 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS (14. Chris IRWIN 73′), 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS.
Unused Subs: 22. Fraser MacLAREN (GK), 23. Andy KECOJEVIC.

Hume City FC:
1. Chris OLDFIELD (GK), 2. Daniel CHABAANI, 3. Shaun TIMMINS, 4. Isyan ERDOGAN (11. Ivan PAVLAK 46′), 5. Petar FRANJIC, 7. Jai INGHAM, 8. Theo MARKELIS, 12. Daniel CLARK (15. Liam NEWMAN 46′), 13. Shane REXHEPI, 17. Marcus SCHROEN, 39. Nick HEGARTY (C).
Unused Subs: 21. Niko JACKSON, 23. Josh MARKOVSKI, 20. Tom BANFIELD.

SMFC Fix Hellas Beer Man of the Match: Nick Epifano
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Wednesday 19 August 2015

Privacy Preference Center