South Melbourne FC won a fifth successive match across all competitions following its 1-0 win against Melbourne Victory’s NPL side at Lakeside Stadium on Sunday night. Milos Lujic’s header on the hour mark proved to be the difference as South maintained its position at the top of the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder after nine rounds.
The home side had a series of chances to open the scoring in the first half but was unable to do so. Matthew Millar hit a stinging shot that hit the crossbar before putting another chance wide of the goal after being put through one-on-one with goalkeeper Lucas Spinella.
Lujic also hit the crossbar with a shot early in the second half as a frustrated South continued to be denied an opening goal. The goal finally arrived just shy of the hour mark, when Schroen headed the ball to the back post for a lurking Lujic to head the ball back across Spinella’s goal and into the back of the net.
The home side searched for a second goal that would have killed the game off as a contest but it never came, with the tough schedule of three games in seven days perhaps finally taking its toll on the players.
Victory had the ball in the net in second half injury time, however the goal was rightly disallowed as Seb Pasquali was in an offside position at the time of captain Stefan Nigro’s initial shot.
The result was not good in the Under 20s, with Melbourne Victory enjoying a comprehensive 6-0 win against South Melbourne. It was the first loss for Brian MacNicol’s side in 2016.
South has a five-day turnaround before its next match against Avondale FC at Knights Stadium on Friday night. Kick-off is at 8:15pm.
FINAL SCORE: SOUTH MELBOURNE 1-0 MELBOURNE VICTORY (NPL) (HT: 0-0)
1-0: Milos Lujic (59′)
South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 11. Brad NORTON / 8. Mathew THEODORE (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 68′), 23. Matthew FOSCHINI / 18. Matthew MILLAR, 17. Marcus SCHROEN (77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS 81′), 7. Nick EPIFANO (22. Andy KECOJEVIC 90+3′) / 9. Milos LUJIC.
Unused Subs: 3. Kristian KONSTANTINIDIS, 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK).
Melbourne Victory FC (NPL):
1. Lucas SPINELLA (GK), 3. Callum GOULDING, 4. Matt HENNESSEY, 5. Damien MISKULIN, 6. Stefan NIGRO (C), 7. Lucas DERRICK (11. Andre McNAMARA 78′), 8. James XYDIAS, 9. Pierce WARING (33. Joey KATEBIAN 64′), 13. Ryan LAMBERT (10. Seb PASQUALI 64′), 15. Josh HOPE, 19. George HOWARD.
Unused Subs: 2. John VAKIRTZIS, 20. Brandon OSIPOV (GK).
SMFC Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Matthew Foschini
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Sunday 24 April 2016