South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Paco Punish South

Paco Punish South
Leigh Minopoulos v Pascoe Vale (0-1), Lakeside Stadium

Pascoe Vale defeated South Melbourne FC in league competition for the first time following a fighting 0-1 victory and despite playing the majority of the game with only ten men. Former South man Joseph Youssef’s goal just after the hour mark settled a match that South can only blame themselves for throwing away.

Goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic has been one of South’s best players in 2016 and he denied Vitale Ferrante’s side from opening the scoring in the first half when he made a near-post save from Davey Van’t Schip’s shot.

Shortly afterwards, Pascoe Vale goalkeeper Alexander Pavlidis collected the ball, with the last touch coming from his defender Mark Pistininzi and the referee blew the whistle for an indirect free kick against Pascoe Vale amid fierce protest from their players. Chaos ensued from the free kick, when Nick Epifano’s initial shot hit the post and then Matthew Millar’s follow-up shot was cleared off the line. The ball then fell back to Epifano and his goal-bound shot was handled on the goal line by Tomi Milardovic, with the player shown a straight red card by the referee and South awarded with a penalty kick.

Milardovic’s decision to handball on the line was justified when Pavlidis guessed the right way and denied Epifano from the penalty spot for the first time in his South career. That entire incident seemed to galvanise ten-man Pascoe Vale as they continued to create opportunities despite playing with a man less. Roganovic again denied Van’t Schip, this time from a header, whilst at the other end of the field Pavlidis saved a Luke Adams header on target.

Pavlidis made another save to deny a long-range Matthew Theodore effort at the start of the second half before his side took the lead with what ultimately was the winning goal. Luca Santilli found space down the right side and hit a low cross initially intended for Van’t Schip, however the big striker cleverly dummied a shot and the incoming Youssef timed his run perfectly to beat Amadu Koroma to the ball and score past Roganovic.

South missed a great opportunity to level when Brad Norton fired a near-post shot well over the crossbar after Pavlidis had initially spilled Epifano’s shot into his path. South went close again shortly after but Peter Deng cleared Millar’s shot off the goal line and away from danger.

As South threw more men forward, Pascoe Vale searched for a second goal to completely kill the game off. Roganovic was on hand to block Santilli’s shot before making an incredible double-save to firstly deny substitute Luke Prelevic from point-blank range and then the follow-up shot from Michael Ferrante.

South had one final chance to salvage a point but Millar’s weak attempt was easily saved by Pavlidis as Pascoe Vale defeated South for the first time in eight league attempts.

The news was better in the Under 20s as South Melbourne defeated Pascoe Vale 3-0 thanks to goals from Charly Layton (28′), Cody Martindale (56′) and substitute Thierry Iradukunda (73′).

South must re-group before getting back on the road to face another tough test away at Green Gully next Saturday. Kick-off is at 3pm at Green Gully Reserve.


Goal Scorer:
0-1: Joseph Youssef (63′)

South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 12. Amadu KOROMA (14. Chris IRWIN 88′), 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 5. Luke ADAMS, 11. Brad NORTON / 23. Matthew FOSCHINI, 8. Mathew THEODORE (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 61′) / 17. Marcus SCHROEN (99. Iqi JAWADI 70′), 18. Matthew MILLAR, 7. Nick EPIFANO / 9. Milos LUJIC.

Pascoe Vale FC:
1. Alexander PAVLIDIS (GK), 2. Adrian TALARICO, 4. Adam NAKIC, 7. Luca SANTILLI (20. Luka PRELEVIC 84′), 8. Joseph YOUSSEF (C), 10. Davey VAN’T SCHIP, 13. Matthew LAZARIDES (22. Yusei KITADE 79′), 15. Mark PISTININZI (18. Andrew MIANO 74′), 16. Tomislav MILARDOVIC (sent off 19′), 21. Michael FERRANTE, 23. Peter DENG.

SMFC Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Nikola Roganovic
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 13 May 2016

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