On Sunday evening AAMI Park hosted rivals South Melbourne and Heidelberg United in round 17 of the NPL Victoria season. Heidelberg were coming off a 4-1 win last week against St Albans, and looking to extend their lead at the top of the table.
Meanwhile South were coming off a 14 day break after their match against Avondale was postponed. The only change to South’s starting eleven was the suspended Tim Mala making way for Luke Pavlou.
The first chance of the game fell to Heidelberg striker Kenny Athiu, who fired his shot straight at Nikola Roganovic five minutes into proceedings. South began to dominate possession after that, and created multiple half chances.
In the 37th minute the deadlock was broken when Nick Epifano cut in from the left and fired his shot past Heidelberg keeper Theodoridis to give South the lead.
Just before half time a turnover in the middle of the park saw Matt Foschini play Milos Lujic in on goal, whose cool finish gave South a 2-0 lead going into the half time break.
After scoring Lujic signalled straight to the bench to be subbed off, with Leigh Minopoulos coming on as his replacement at half time.
South continued their dominance in the second half. In the 79th minute, Jesse Daley ran in on goal and squared the ball for Epifano to score his second of the game and his fourth for the league campaign.
New signing Bardhi Hysolli come on late for Epifano to make his South debut, with Stefan Zinni making a last minute appearance off the bench replacing Daley. South kept their seventh clean sheet of the league season and moved to within three points of top spot with a game in hand.
South’s next game is against last placed St Albans at Lakeside on Sunday at 4pm .
South Melbourne 3 ( Epifano 37, 79 Luijc 44)
Heidelberg United 0