South Melbourne FC

The Blue and White Forever

Match Preview – NPL R21 – Oakleigh v SMFC

Match Preview – NPL R21 – Oakleigh v SMFC
Milos Lujic scores for 1-0

South Melbourne FC will be looking to complete a 2016 league double over the Oakleigh Cannons when it travels to Jack Edwards Reserve on Sunday evening.

Chris Taylor’s side surrendered top spot on the PS4 NPL Victoria ladder last Friday night, with three late goals by Bentleigh seeing them defeat South 3-1 at Kingston Heath Soccer Complex. That result took Bentleigh two points ahead of South at the top of the league standings, with six matches remaining before the finals series.

Despite suffering its fourth league loss of the season, Taylor – who served a touchline ban against Bentleigh but will be back in the dugout on Sunday – will be strongly encouraged by the excellent performance of his team last Friday. South were by far the better team on the night despite playing nearly an hour with ten men and playing the match without the suspended pair Milos Lujic and Tim Mala.

Leigh Minopoulos was South’s man of the match against Bentleigh, scoring South’s goal and enjoying an excellent individual performance that will surely see him feature up front alongside the returning Lujic against the Cannons on Sunday. Tim Mala misses Sunday’s game as he serves the second of his two-game suspension, whilst Luke Adams misses the game as he serves a one-match ban for his red card against Bentleigh.

Co-coaches Peter Tsolakis and Con Tangalakis have overseen a strong season from Oakleigh so far, with the Cannons registering 11 wins, 4 draws and only 5 losses from their twenty league matches in 2016. Oakleigh are currently in sixth place on the ladder, a whopping nine points clear of the seventh-placed Melbourne Knights and only two points behind third-placed Heidelberg United. Sunday presents them an excellent opportunity to further consolidate their position in the top six and push for a top-three finish.

Oakleigh will go into the game in good form, having won their last two league matches. The key men to watch out for are Dusan Bosnjak and Dimitri Hatzimouratis, with both players having scored 15 and 12 goals respectively this season. Dean Piemonte has also chipped in with seven goals, giving Oakleigh some dangerous attacking options capable of punishing South if they are not careful.

SMFC and Oakleigh have played against each other every season since South returned to the State League in 2005. The two sides have also met each other twice in the Dockerty Cup (2013 and 2015), with South prevailing 3-0 both times. The 2015 meeting was in the Dockerty Cup final, which South won with a second-half double from Lujic and a further goal from Minopoulos.

Sunday’s match kicks off at 5:30pm at Jack Edwards Reserve. 

SMFC v Oakleigh Cannons – Head to Head (League & Finals)

Matches Played: 24
Wins (SMFC): 12
Wins (OCFC): 4
Draws: 8

First match: Oakleigh Cannons 0-1 SMFC (4 March 2005, Jack Edwards Reserve)
Last match: South Melbourne 4-1 Oakleigh Cannons (17 April 2016, Lakeside Stadium)

Biggest Winning Margin (SMFC): 3 goals (5-2 win, 27 July 2007, Lakeside Stadium)
Biggest Winning Margin (OCFC): 3 goals (3-0 win, 6 June 2014, Jack Edwards Reserve)

Most Goals in a Match (SMFC): (5-2 win, 27 July 2007, Lakeside Stadium)
Most Goals in a Match (OCFC): (3-0 win, 6 June 2014, Jack Edwards Reserve)

Biggest Finals Win (SMFC): None
Biggest Finals Win (OCFC): 1-0 (21 August 2011, Jack Edwards Reserve)


NPL Home Away Finals


0-1 1-0


0-1 1-2


5-2 1-1


3-1 0-1


0-0 1-1


1-2 1-0


1-0 2-1 0-1


2-1 3-1


2-1 2-1


2-2 0-3


1-0 0-2


4-1 ?

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