South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Survive Semi Final with Dramatic Win

South Survive Semi Final with Dramatic Win

South Melbourne FC booked its place in the 2015 NPL Victoria Grand Final with a dramatic come-from-behind 3-2 extra time win against Pascoe Vale last Friday night. 

A 117th minute winning goal from skipper Michael Eagar sent Lakeside Stadium into a frenzy, with South now to take on the Bentleigh Greens in Sunday’s Grand Final decider. 

Vitale Ferrante’s Pascoe Vale side pushed Chris Taylor’s reigning NPL Victoria Champions to the absolute limits in what will surely go down as a Victorian football classic.

Going into the match as red-hot favourites, South were on the back foot early as Pascoe Vale took the game on from the first whistle. Luke Adams cleared the ball off the line to prevent a certain goal from Matthew Lazarides, whilst goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic was forced to make several early saves.

Eight minutes before the halftime break, Adams went up the other end for a corner kick and scored the opening goal of the match by blasting home from close range after Eagar cut the ball back to him. It was Adams’ second League goal of the season and third across all competitions for South Melbourne.

Everything seemed to be going to plan for the home side until Davey Van’t Schip turned the game on its head by levelling the scores for the visitors after 73 minutes. Roganovic blocked the ball from a shot at his near post but the ball spilled out to the Pascoe Vale striker and he made no mistake by cooly slotting the ball into the back of the net.

Neither side could break the deadlock during the rest of regular time, although Pascoe Vale looked the more likely to score. The away side looked to have won their way into the Grand Final nine minutes into extra time when Van’t Schip found the back of the net with a beautiful glancing header from Luca Santilli’s cross. South suddenly looked out of ideas and Pascoe Vale were sensing a massive upset.

Taylor immediately made what proved to be a vital substitution, with 17 year old Andy Kecojevic coming on for Mathew Theodore. It proved to be a masterstroke as Kecojevic levelled in effectively the final play of first half extra time. Pascoe Vale goalkeeper Alexander Pavlidis parried Nick Epifano’s free kick straight into the oncoming Kecojevic, with the ball deflecting off the youngster and into the back of the net. The score was now 2-2 and South suddenly had a burst of momentum.

With only three minutes remaining before a dreaded penalty shootout was to take place, Eagar met Kecojevic’s corner at the near post and flicked a header over Pavlidis and into the back of the net to cause chaotic and wild scenes of celebration on the field and in the grandstand. It was only Eagar’s second South Melbourne goal in his 50 League games for the club but it was his most important.

South Melbourne will be looking for back-to-back NPL Victoria Championships when they play the Bentleigh Greens (2-0 winners over Hume City in the other Semi Final) this Sunday 13 September at Lakeside Stadium. Kick-off is at 3pm.


Goal Scorers:
1-0: Luke Adams (37′)
1-1: Davey Van’t Schip (73′)
1-2: Davey Van’t Schip (99′)
2-2: Andy Kecojevic (105+2′)
3-2: Michael Eagar (117′)

South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK), 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 7. Nick EPIFANO, 8. Mathew THEODORE (23. Andy KECOJEVIC 100’), 9. Milos LUJIC, 11. Brad NORTON, 12. Iqi JAWADI, 14. Chris IRWIN (21. Jake BARKER-DAISH 115’), 27. Leigh MINOPOULOS (10. David STIRTON 77’), 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS.

Unused substitutes: 22. Fraser MacLAREN (GK), 6. Tom LAKIC.
Yellow cards: Irwin 11’, Norton 22′, Hatzikostas 84’.
Red cards: Nil

Pascoe Vale FC:
35. Alexander PAVLIDIS (GK), 2. Adrian TALARICO, 4. Adam NAKIC (3. Nathen MEGIC 92’), 7. Luca SANTILLI, 8. Joseph YOUSSEF (C), 10. Davey VAN’T SCHIP, 13. Matthew LAZARIDES (9. Jake NAKIC 65’), 16. Tomislav MILARDOVIC, 17. Aaron TURNER, 21. Michael FERRANTE (6. Carl RECCHIA 117’), 23. Jake HALLIDAY.

Unused substitutes: 1. Dennys MARTIN (GK), 15. Mark PISTININZI.
Yellow cards: Santilli 74’.
Red cards: Nil

SMFC Fix Hellas Beer Men of the Match: Michael Eagar/Stephen Hatzikostas
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 4 September 2015


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