South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

South Complete Double over Port

South Complete Double over Port
Leigh Minopoulos celebrates scoring

South Melbourne FC maintained its position on top of the Ps4 NPL Victoria ladder with a comfortable 2-0 home victory against Port Melbourne at Lakeside Stadium on Friday night. A first half penalty by Milos Lujic and a second half tap-in by substitute Leigh Minopoulos gave Chris Taylor’s side the result it wanted.

With both teams perhaps mindful of their FFA Cup qualifying games this coming week, Friday night’s match wasn’t played at the level of intensity of the earlier meeting between the two sides back in March. Nevertheless, the result was the most important thing to get out of Friday night and South achieved that with a goal in each half.

The home side opened the scoring just before the half-hour when Lujic went down in the penalty area after what looked like a tug on his shirt. South’s centre-forward stepped up to take the spot kick – instead of the usual penalty taker in Nick Epifano – and made no mistake by sending Port goalkeeper Luke Gavalas the wrong way to give his side the lead.

Early in the second half, South goalkeeper Nikola Roganovic almost gifted Port Melbourne a goal when he lost his balance and fell whilst attempting to clear the ball. With Jamie De Abreu bearing down on him, the custodian calmly headed the ball out for a corner kick and averted any danger. Lujic had the opportunity to wrap the game up just after the hour when he was through one-on-one with Gavalas but fired his shot straight at the goalkeeper.

Minopoulos had only been on the ground for six minutes before he scored to confirm the three points for South. A corner kick was played to the back post, where captain Michael Eagar fired the ball back across goal for Minopoulos to tap in from close range. Port should have halved the deficit late in the game but Erhan Yalaz headed the ball over Roganovic’s crossbar from close range.

South now has a three-point lead over Bentleigh at the top of the NPL Victoria table, after Bentleigh drew 1-1 at home to Hume on Friday night.

It was further good news in the Under 20s as South Melbourne defeated Port Melbourne 7-0. New Spanish signing Manuel Herrero was given a starting berth and he scored a hat-trick of goals (19′, 47′, 50′) before being substituted in the 56th minute. Andy Kecojevic (27’p), Charly Layton (35′), Nashir Hussainy (74′) and Thierry Iradukunda (90′) scored South’s other four goals.

South now turns its attention to Tuesday night, when it travels to Kingston Heath Soccer Complex to face the Bentleigh Greens in Round 7 FFA Cup qualifying. The winning team will qualify for both the 2016 Westfield FFA Cup Round of 32 proper and the Victorian Dockerty Cup semi finals, with South being the defending Dockerty Cup winners from 2015.


Goal Scorers:
1-0: Milos Lujic (28’p)
2-0: Leigh Minopoulos (71′)

South Melbourne FC:
1. Nikola ROGANOVIC (GK) / 2. Tim MALA, 4. Michael EAGAR (C), 23. Matthew FOSCHINI, 11. Brad NORTON / 77. Stephen HATZIKOSTAS, 99. Iqi JAWADI  (8. Mathew THEODORE 65′) / 18. Matthew MILLAR, 17. Marcus SCHROEN (27. Leigh MINOPOULOS 65′), 7. Nick EPIFANO (14. Chris IRWIN 90+2′) / 9. Milos LUJIC.
Unused Subs: 12. Amadu KOROMA, 21. Zaim ZENELI (GK).

Port Melbourne FC:
18. Luke GAVALAS (GK), 3. James RICCOBENE, 4. James KARVELIS, 7. Jamie DE ABREU, 8. Bonel OBRADOVIC (14. Trent MANICAS 85′), 12. Alec GOODWIN (15. Dennis KOUTROULIS 79′), 16. Alan KEARNEY (19. Shaun KELLY (C) 76′), 17. Erhan YALAZ, 20. Tyler JAMES, 22. Ryan OPPERMAN, 23. Jacob ELIOPOULOS.
Unused Subs: 2. Andrew VIOLA, 25. Michael STARK.

SMFC Melbourne City Toyota Man of the Match: Michael Eagar
Venue: Lakeside Stadium
Date: Friday 10 June 2016

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